Extracts from the press conference by the Lithuanian Presidency and the European Commission
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council / Justus Lipsius
End production: 02/12/2013 First transmission: 02/12/2013
Today, the Competitiveness Council has been expected to agree on a common position for a future directive on electronic invoicing in the field of public procurement. The objective of the proposal is to introduce a European e-invoicing standard that would diminish market access barriers in cross-border public procurement, generated by insufficient interoperability of electronic technical standards.The proposal is a part of the ongoing modernization of the public administration sector and another step in the development of the European digital agenda, which includes facilitating cross-border online trade. The Counci has also been invited to agree on a common position on a draft directive concerning actions for damages for breaches of antitrust law. The initiative aims to facilitate damage claims by victims of antitrust violations and to allow them to receive full compensation. The Council has also exchanged views on the areas for closer coordination of economic policies, with the most prominent effects to competitiveness in view of European Semester 2014 and the upcoming European Council meetings of December 2013 and February 2014. In this context, it has been invited to adopt three sets of conclusions on industrial policy, single market policy and smart regulation. The policy debate based on the Presidency questions to ministers will serve as contribution to the up-coming European Council meetings. In the afternoon, ministers have noted the progress made in the EU's trade mark system with a view to its modernisation, which includes improved accessibility to EU companies, lower costs and increased speed and predictability. The Presidency will inform on the successful outcome regarding a directive on collective management of copyright and multi-territorial licensing of rights for online music.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of Evaldas Gustas, Lithuanian Minister of the Economy and President in office of the Council
||SOUNDBITE by Evaldas Gustas (In Lithuanian) saying that: I'm pleased to note that we approved a document that is very important for Europe, which is a document which sets out the multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020. I'm also very pleased to note that the following Council's conclusions were adopted during this Competitiveness Council; that is council's conclusion on single market policy, on smart regulation and on European industrial policy.
||Cutaway of Evaldas Gustas
||SOUNDBITE by Evaldas Gustas (In Lithuanian) saying that: As regards the retail sector, an agreement has been reached to identify obstacles relating to the establishment of retailers in other markets by 2015. To improve information provided to business and to ensure the digitization of procedures in establishing a business in another member state we have reached an agreement on the implementation of the charter of points of single contact and we aim at achieving at least minimal results by the end of 2014.
||Cutaway of a photographer
||SOUNDBITE by Evaldas Gustas (In Lithuanian) saying that: Another set of conclusions: The conclusions on smart regulation. In these conclusions the Commission has called upon to cooperate with member states and stakeholders in order to reduce the regulatory burden in the area where this burden is the largest by focusing first and foremost on the needs of SME's and to take preventive action regarding the transposition of new provisions to the national law.
||Cutaway of the audience
||SOUNDBITE by Evaldas Gustas (In Lithuanian) saying that: The Council's conclusions on industrial policy include proposals on strengthening the competitiveness of European industry. The emphasis is on the need for a horizontal approach to industrial policy integrating the industrial competitiveness dimension into the common EU policy areas and by tasking the Commission with the annual assessment of this integration in the European competitiveness report.
||Evaldas Gustas leaving the press room