The EU Single Market: General policy
The first Competitiveness Council under the mandate of the Italian EU Presidency will take place in Brussels on 25-26 September 2014. The Council will discuss the mid-term review of the EU’s economic growth programme, the Commission’s Implementation Roadmap “A New Deal for European Defence”, the implementation of the patent package, and the opportunity of extending EU-wide geographical indication protection to non-agricultural products.
"Tunisia faces many challenges and the road is still long and probably bumpy, but I want to salute the tremendous capacity of the Tunisian people and its leaders to face these difficulties through dialogue." Speech by Vice-President Barnier.
The Scoreboard provides country-specific information and analyses in detail how certain governance tools function and policies are applied in each country. The scope of the Single Market Scoreboard has been extended to two specific policy areas: public procurement and postal services.
“We will not repair our economy by putting back barriers within the single market, or by playing France’s interests against the interests of other EU countries. True protection is not found in protectionism. It is found in investment and reform”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the “MEDEF Debates” (Movement of the Enterprises of France).
“The relationship between the US and Europe cannot and must not be reduced to that of only a free trade area. It has to be a stronger political relationship”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington.
"By 2050, no individual European country is part of the G8. We are not in the world league anymore, we are not part of the race. But if we are together, then we are in the race! And if we take the right decision, we can win it." Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the European Business Summit 2014.
Towards a genuine single market for defence to underpin our industrial competitiveness and strategic independence
“If we want to play an active role in the world in future, and to have real strategic autonomy, we have to move forward together on defence”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier.
“Europe is at a turning point. Both politically and economically. […] For the first time in years, we do not have our backs against the wall. So now is the right time to move from a reactive to proactive approach”. Speech by Michel Barnier.
Vice President Tajani and Commissioner Barnier co-host a high-level conference on the defence industry and markets in Brussels on 4 March
The changing international economic situation and constantly emerging new security concerns mean that the European defence industry must transform itself to be capable of maintaining the security of the EU in the years to come. In this context, the key objective of this high-level conference on “Setting the agenda for the European defence sector” - which will be opened by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso - is to work with this sector to identify the best ways to implement the actions set out in the recent Commission Communication on defence, in the light of the European Council Conclusions adopted in December 2013.
The European Commission’s online Single Market Scoreboard has been updated as regards two main governance tools: transposition of Single Market-related directives and infringements. With regard to the application of Single Market law, the number of infringements has not changed over the last six months, whereas the percentage of Single Market directives that have not been transposed into national law in time has gone up slightly to 0.7%.
Debate on the future of Europe: Commissioner Barnier and French Minister Repentin will debate issues with citizens at Plaine Saint Denis
The future of Europe, citizens’ rights and the economic recovery are the topics to be discussed at the 46th Citizens’ Dialogue with Michel Barnier, Thierry Repentin and 350 citizens, which will take place on 27 February 2014 in Paris – Plaine Saint Denis.
“We must have a common voice if we are to humanise globalisation and bring it under control”. Interview by Alexander Louvet, Powershoots TV
The first Competitiveness Council under the mandate of the Greek EU Presidency will take place in Brussels on 20-21 February 2014. Among other issues, the Council will discuss the priorities identified in the Annual Growth Survey to promote growth and competitiveness, in particular improving the functioning and flexibility of product and services markets. Commissioner Barnier will call on Member States to pursue reforms for competitiveness which support the recovery that is underway. Other topics under discussion will include e-invoicing in public procurement and the proposal for a European Foundation Statute.
After four years of struggling to reform financial markets, curb speculation and strengthen the real economy, Commissioner Barnier takes stock of the progress made so far. Interview by Sabine Seeger, VDI nachrichten
“Europe and China have both engaged in substantial and wide-ranging reforms to fix our financial systems and improve our economic governance. (...) We need to build on these achievements to come out of the crisis stronger and lay the foundations for a more sustainable, more balanced path to future growth”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Development Research Centre, Beijing.
“The real objective (...) of the European project is to enable people to live in peace, to live with dignity, to live a better life. This ideal is threatened by the current crisis, by the level of unemployment, the suffering of families and the despair to which this often leads. This is what we must overcome. Not only here in Greece but also in the rest of Europe”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at a round table bringing together representatives of the economic and financial sector in Athens.
“We sometimes get so caught up in addressing what is wrong with Europe that we forget to underline what we do well”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the European Policy Centre Annual Conference “Debate on the State of the Union”.
A Euronews TV debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg brought Single Market Month to a close on the 23rd of October. The authors of five of the best ideas put forward during the Single Market Month debated their policy proposal with Commissioner Barnier.
“The Single Market is of massive importance to the UK economy (...) and British companies know it. They know how important it is for the UK to keep its place at the European Union table”. Speech by M. Barnier, London School of Economics & Political Science.
“The new fall schedule (...) will be make it possible to follow how the recommendations submitted every spring to each Member State [by the European Commission] are taken into account in the draft budget law of the following year, and, if necessary, will give Member States the possibility to adjust it”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier in front of the French National Assembly.
Commissioner Barnier on the Banking Union in the eurozone and Franco-German relationships. Interview by Ruth Berschens, Handelsblatt.
The European Parliament votes in favour of the modernisation of the Professional Qualifications Directive
“I congratulate the European Parliament on having adopted today the modernisation of the Professional Qualifications Directive, which is one of the priorities of the Single Market Act. (...) The European Professional Card – originally an idea put forward by the European Parliament – is one of the major changes to this Directive”. Statement by Commissioner Barnier.
Monday 7 October will mark the opening of a third round of live, interactive online debates – this time on banks - between citizens, businesses, organisations, and policy makers in the framework of Single Market Month. This debate on the financial sector takes place at a time when the consequences of the financial crisis are still very present in the daily life of people and businesses. The online forum offers stakeholders a unique and immediate line of communication to Brussels policymakers.
European Commission and Member States to assess barriers restricting access to regulated professions
Mobility of professionals across the European Union is still low. Conditions for accessing certain professions can be complex, burdensome and very often vary greatly from one Member State to another. The European Commission has today adopted a communication announcing the start of an evaluation of national regulations on access to professions.
The European Commission today welcomed the publication of a study on Intellectual Property Rights, which was carried out jointly by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). This study measures the importance of Intellectual Property rights in the EU economy.
Monday 30 September will mark the opening of a second round of live, interactive online debates – this time on social rights - between citizens, businesses, organisations, and policy makers in the framework of Single Market Month. This is an opportunity for citizens and stakeholders to make proposals for the future of the EU and to debate these proposals online, in real time, with other citizens, stakeholders, officials and leaders, and experts from all over Europe.
Monday 23 September sees the first in a series of four online debates on the Single Market. The online forum offers stakeholders a unique and immediate line of communication to Brussels policymakers. The first debates will run from Monday 23 to Wednesday 25 September on 111 policy proposals from 17 countries on issues surrounding jobs: how to create more jobs; how to set up a business; how to improve the quality of available jobs.
“In most of our countries, especially in Spain, significant efforts have been made, by means of painful budget cuts and difficult structural reforms. Today these efforts are beginning to bear fruit. (...) However, almost five years to the day after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, it would be wrong to believe that the crisis is behind us”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Nueva Economia Forum in Madrid.
“In these times that remain difficult for Spain and for Europe in general, the construction of a digital single market brings along many promises. (...) But for all these promises to materialise, we have many challenges to face”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the conference “Towards a digital single market in the EU”.
As more and more Europeans discover the opportunities of the EU’s Single Market, there are more questions to answer and problems to solve. (...) That is where the EU steps in. Your Europe, as a wide-ranging information portal on EU rights, and SOLVIT, as a cross-border problem-solving mechanism, try to help people and companies to navigate the EU’s Single Market. Further to the success of these tools, the European Commission today adopted an Action Plan for the further development of Your Europe and a Recommendation on SOLVIT for making it work more effectively.
In an interview with EurActiv.fr, Commissioner Barnier discusses pension reform, green taxation, banking regulation and priorities for European politics.
Between 23 September and 23 October 2013, the European Union will organise one month of online debates on the Single Market. Discussion will focus on four themes: jobs (23-25/9), social rights (30/9-2/10), banks (7-9/10) and e-commerce (14-16/10). The debates will give you the chance to network with other citizens, businesses and interest organisations in Europe. In addition, you will be able to connect with EU leaders and policy-makers. The aim of the Single Market Month is to stimulate a dialogue between Europeans and collect as many ideas as possible that could be taken into account when policy is being made. Don’t miss this opportunity to make your voice heard! You may already submit your ideas for one of the four categories.
"The TTIP (Transatlantic Free Trade Area) is a starting point. It is an opportunity to prove that we are able to trust each other. To make mutual concessions for economic growth and jobs. And to define global standards." Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Transatlantic Partnership Network in Washington.
With today's launch of the online only Single Market Scoreboard, a more comprehensive and user-friendly reporting system has been put in place. The Single Market Scoreboard incorporates comprehensive reports on 13 governance tools including monitoring the correct transposition of EU directives, analysis of infringement proceedings, administrative cooperation networks and various information and problem-solving services.
What is the European Commission doing to fight against organised crime and corruption in the single market?
"Tax evasion, money laundering, corruption, counterfeiting, piracy, all threaten the integrity of the single market and the confidence of our citizens". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the European Parliament's special commission on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering.
20 years ago, the European single market was born. Borders disappeared; bonds between countries were strengthened. Today, in a world which is more complex and uncertain, the need for unity has become even stronger... "Together for new growth" is a documentary film about the single market and the importance of economic integration in Europe.
"Europe has strong assets for long‑term investment: We have high levels of private savings and foreign investment. Yet many factors are holding back long-term investment in Europe". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Eurofi High Level Seminar in Dublin.
Commissioner Barnier welcomes the agreement on disclosure requirements for the extractive industry and loggers of primary forests and on simpler accounting requirements for small companies
Today’s agreement is an important step in fulfilling our objectives for more responsible businesses. It follows up on commitments agreed under the Single Market Act I with the aim of fostering a sustainable and inclusive growth model.
Speaking as a guest on TV5MONDE, Commissioner Barnier presents the major plans of the EU in order to fight against financial crises – Interview
The repeated financial crises raise the question of political, budgetary, and financial governance of the eurozone and the EU. Commissiare Barnier details EU action plans in this area. Interview by Xavier Lambrechts (TV5MONDE), Bruno Daroux (RFI) et Philippe Ricard (Le Monde).
Commissioner Barnier outlined Europe’s plans to forge ahead with the Single Supervisory Mechanism and a strong Banking Union, and Secretary Lew underscored his support for Europe’s efforts.
“We cannot forget the reality of the crime. We also cannot forget that in response to this crime, certain actions were made that were an ultimate expression of human dignity in the face of those that sought to suppress it. (...) The European Union was built not by forgetting, but by remembering and recognising its awful past”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier in Izieu.
Commissioner Barnier speaks about the crisis in Cyprus, the winding up of banks and the management of the Eurozone. Interview by Ruth Berschens, Handelsblatt.
“On July 1st, Croatia will join the EU and the single market. (...) Joining the single market will open up new opportunities for Croatian people and businesses. It will boost the Croatian economy – as it has boosted the economy of acceding countries in the past”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Conference “How can Croatia benefit from the single market”, Zagreb.
“We need to invest for the long term in order to give a chance to innovative SMEs (...), to provide Europe with modern and eco-friendly infrastructure, to focus on education and research and to finance new services of general interest (...)”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the FESA-CFA roundtable “Financer l’investissement de long terme dans l’économie européenne”.
“We have been working together for 3 years now, and the year ahead will be particularly crucial for making our efforts successful during this term of office. I know you have the same concern as I have: relaunching the single market, for the benefit of citizens and businesses”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier to the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) of the European Parliament.
Despite the challenging times, Member States have performed better than ever in transposing EU rules into national law on time according to the European Commission's Internal Market Scoreboard published today. "This is the best result ever" said Commissioner Barnier.
Cinquante ans d’amitié franco-allemande au service de l’Union européenne : un modèle pour d’autres réconciliations
« Il n’y aurait pas d’Europe sans réconciliation franco-allemande. (…) À l’heure où une nouvelle vision pour l’Europe est nécessaire, notre responsabilité est de veiller à ce que cette réconciliation demeure indispensable sans être exclusive, entraînante sans être contraignante, sincère sans être utopique ». Discours du Commissaire Barnier à l’Université pontificale grégorienne, à Rome.
“We need to upgrade the Single Market. Adapt it to Europe’s new economic, technological and social realities. And use it as a foundation to restore growth and create jobs. The Single Market is not the whole economy. But it is its bedrock. If this bedrock is fragmented, any private or public initiative is made less effective”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the City of London.
Speaking as a guest on i>Télé, Commissioner Barnier points out that deficit reduction is required and competitiveness is the key to growth.
"We are still in the midst of a crisis, but the worst is behind us. The atmosphere has changed, first at the June European summit where, after two years of being backed against a wall, we finally had a global approach." Interview with Michel Barnier, by Laurent MARCHAND, Ouest France.
“It is the responsibility of political leaders to convince people that being European is not simply an option but a necessity”. Interview with Michel Barnier, by C. Barbier, L’Express.
The single market opens up many possibilities, whether you wish to travel, study, work or do business in another EU country than your own. But do you really know how it works, and what opportunities are available to you? Commissioner Barnier explains how the website “Your Europe” can help you make the most of your single market.
2012 prize will be presented today in Oslo recognizing EU’s role in advancing stability and reconciliation in Europe.
The first edition of this report accompanies the Annual Growth Survey 2013. The report presents an analysis of the state of Single Market integration and looks at the main barriers to a better Single Market functioning in particular in key areas with the greatest growth potential, i.e. services, networks and digital economy.
Competition law, trade reciprocity and innovation: for a Europe that is working towards greater competitiveness
"We must keep up the momentum achieved to adapt our competition law, impose more reciprocity in the area of trade and support European companies' efforts to further innovate". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the symposium MEDEF / ESSEC/ LINKLATERS.
On Monday 19 November the European Commission hosted a high level one-day conference on the progress underway to ensure the safety and stability of the EU financial sector, to reinforce the Single Market, and to help promote economic growth. Commissioner Barnier opened the event.
Banking union, economic and fiscal integration: moving towards a strong Europe that is a solid, strategic partner for Russia
“The European crisis is a subject for concern for the whole world including Russia, whose largest trading partner is the EU and where 40% of foreign exchange reserves are in euros”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Conference of the Association of European Businesses in the Russian Federation (AEB)
“The shock surrounding the recent Libor scandal seems to me to be doubly justified. […] One question in particular comes to mind: could scientific analysis have helped up avoid this scandal? Could an objective approach to markets – an approach by model, even – have detected weaknesses and dark spots in the financial sector?”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the conference “Scientific support to financial analysis: how can science contribute to financial stability?” organised by the Joint Research Centre
“Let us be bold enough to build a real European policy for competitiveness and innovation, which will enable us to shrink the competiveness gaps between us, and to make Europe a force for innovation on the world stage.” Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the 7th Forum on innovation and research held in Paris.
The European Parliament debates on the Single Market Act II and the concerns of European citizens and businesses with the functioning of the single market. With the participation of Commissioner Barnier.
“We must ensure that future legislation fully achieves its objectives in terms of transparency, fair competition and investors' protection”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier following the European Parliament's report on the proposals for a directive and a regulation on markets in financial instruments (MiFID).
"The defence of national interests now goes through Europe – it can no longer be purely national. Today, I am sure of it, De Gaulle, Churchill, and Adenauer would not be talking about national independence, but about European sovereignty and independence!" Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the UDI founding congress.
"The solution to our problems is not less Europe, but more Europe. In particular, it is a more modern single market, better adapted to the new economic, technological and social conditions of our time." Speech by Commissioner Barnier during his visit to the Netherlands in the framework of the Single Market Week.
Single Market Week, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Single Market, will run from 15 to 20 October 2012 and feature events organised in cities across all 27 Member States of the European Union. These events will bring together European enterprises and citizens, as well as Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Council and the Member States, to consider the past, present and future of the Single Market.
"Europe wake up! We will only return to growth and prosperity if we finally complete the single market". The debate is over. See the results and videos from the debate on YouTube.
The completion of the Single Market is a continuous exercise and is a central element of the European growth agenda to address the current economic crisis. This is why the European Commission has today adopted Single Market Act II, putting forward twelve key actions for rapid adoption by the EU institutions. Single Market Act II follows in the footsteps of a first set of measures presented by the Commission (the "Single Market Act I) and represents a new chapter in a process towards a deeper and better integrated single market.
The 20th anniversary of the Single Market provides the framework for a range of activities taking place in all Member States and centred on the Single Market Week for New Growth from 15 to 20 October 2012. To prepare for Single Market Week, the Commission has today published a brochure entitled "20 Years of the European Single Market" and a short promotional video. All the details about the Single Market Week are available on a dedicated website where you can register for the launch event in Brussels on 15 October.
The European Union today launched a website to draw attention to the events of Single Market week in October 2012, marking 20 years of the European Single Market.
Caroline de Camaret (France24) and Frederique Lebel (RFI) interview M. Barnier, G. Verhofstadt, H. Désir and E. Joly. France24.
''The Commission has decided to adopt a second chapter of the Single Market Act after the summer, coinciding with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the creation of the single market.'' Speech by Commissioner Barnier to the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) in the European Parliament.
"The 20th anniversary of the single market should be a chance to breathe new life into our single market and to intensify a dialogue with all Europeans on these topics." Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Plenary session of the European Parliament.
"The Commission has done its work, work that was requested by Heads of State and Government: analyse, compare, offer recommendations. The situation in which France finds itself is serious." Interview with Commissioner Barnier on the LCI channel ("L'invité de Julien Arnaud").
"We have felt for some time now that a growth initiative should be added to the fiscal and budgetary pact to ensure its success". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the European Parliament debate in preparation of the informal European Summit.
Statement by Commissioner Barnier at the European Parliament debate on governance of the single market.
"The question of competitiveness is the condition for a strong Europe in the world and also for lasting growth that is balanced between the countries of Europe". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Ceremony to award the Charlemagne Prize to Wolfgang Schäuble.
Yesterday we celebrated Europe Day – but the future of Europe remains a topic of concern. Interview with Commissioner Barnier. Direct Matin.
"Our Single Market will be 20 years old at the end of this year […]. This birthday is a chance for us to reflect on how far we have come, and especially to reflect on how far we have yet to go. What obstacles do we need to overcome to adapt the Single Market to the 21st century." Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union
As part of the events surrounding the 20th anniversary of the single market, the European Commission has launched a creativity competition for 20-year olds entitled ‘Generation 1992’. Entrants can submit essays, videos, photographs, cartoons or smartphone applications. The aim of the contest is to encourage reflection and discussion on the role of the single market in young people’s daily lives.
"European regulations and the single market can be an asset to the press and its future in the digital world." Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the European Night Magazine Media.
The Single Market celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2012. In the past 20 years, the Single Market has helped create millions of jobs and make Europe increasingly competitive. But the job is not finished. The Single Market needs to be constantly monitored and updated to make it work. Despite all the progress made, there are still many barriers to a fully functioning Single Market.
"These are difficult times for Europe, requiring difficult measures: tackling the sovereign debt crisis in Greece. Strengthening European banks. Reforming European governance. We are changing the face of European financial markets, transforming G20 commitments into binding European law." – Speech by Commissioner Barnier.
Commissioner Barnier is on a two-day visit to the United States, to discuss with his American counterparts the state of play of the implementation of G20 commitments in the area of financial regulation.
Making Greece's public debt sustainable, and making sure other EU countries learn from the Greek example. Interview at BFM radio.
"It is not enough to speak about austerity and rigour to the Greeks and Europeans. We must above all give them fresh hope." Interview by Joël Bigorgne, Ouest France.
Today marks two years of Commissioner Barnier's mandate as European Commissioner responsible for Internal market and Services. The diagnosis drawn up at the beginning of last year still holds true: Europe cannot simply take defensive measures in response to the crises, however important these may be, it must also give Europeans the opportunity for new growth.
Your Europe Advice is a service offered by the European Commission that allows citizens and businesses to ask questions about their EU rights. The 100,000th enquiry came from a Spanish woman who wanted to know about her right to access medical treatment and hospital care in the Netherlands. "I did not expect to receive the reply so quickly", said the woman. "And it was very easy to understand, without legal jargon".
Commissioner Barnier took part in a panel discussion at the 48th Munich Security Conference. Over the past decades the Munich Security Conference has become the major security policy conference worldwide.
Commissioner Barnier gave a speech at the Copenhagen University and a speech at the Conference "One Europe – One Market", organised by the Danish Presidency.
"The meaning of the decisions taken by the European Commission, heads of state and government, is very clear. At the highest level, there is an unbreakable political determination to take all the necessary measures to overcome the current crisis". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the conference "Restoring Confidence in Financial Markets", Tokyo.
Declaration by Commissioner Barnier on the reform of the Treaties and Standard & Poors' announcements regarding sovereign debt ratings in the eurozone.
Making things easier for European service providers: moving towards second generation Points of Single Contact
"Citizens and entrepreneurs will, to a large extent, measure the opportunities they have in the Single Market on the basis of their experience with the Points of Single Contact. We must now make the most of the momentum we have achieved so that we can develop them further". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the conference on Points of Single Contact.
Financial regulation and the Single Market Act: two instruments for revitalising the European project
The 12 levers set out in the Single Market Act – drafted on the basis of a report submitted by Mario Monti in 2010 – "have the potential to increase Europe's growth by an additional 3 percentage points by 2020. For this to happen, we have to accept – in Italy as in other Member States – that in some areas the status quo must be challenged." Speech by Commissioner Barnier before the Italian Parliament.
"Today in Brussels, we are engaging in a great European debate together for social entrepreneurship. It is a starting point. We want to support and listen to those who were the pioneers. These companies and entrepreneurs offer a chance for a competitive social market economy and to become the ambition of the European economic model." Speech by Commissioner Barnier on the occassion of the conference on social entrepreneurship.
Statement by Commissioner Michel Barnier – Following the incorrect rating of France by Standard & Poor's
This incident is serious and it shows that in the current tense and volatile market situation, market players must exercise discipline and demonstrate a special sense of responsibility.
"The framework that we seek to create should ensure the production and continuous availability of high-quality audiovisual content at national and European level. Our goal is to create a true digital single market, which will benefit producers, viewers and TV channels alike." Speech by Commissioner Barnier before the Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT).
“The largely peaceful protests by anti-capitalists – in London and across the world – should not be underestimated. They highlight that if we don’t get change right, the situation could quickly turn.”
Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Conference “Financial Regulation and the Dynamics of Saving and Investment Markets”, Cumberland Lodge, London.
After the worse financial crisis since the great depression in the 1930s, Europe needs to take the next step. With the Single Market Act we want to bring growth, new jobs and opportunities to European citizens and businesses. To make this happen we need to act together and we need to act now. Article by Commissioner Barnier, Public Service Review, issue 22.
The Commission has presented a roadmap outlining the comprehensive response that is needed to restore confidence in the Euro area and the European Union as a whole. This response is designed to break the vicious circle between doubts over the sustainability of sovereign debt, the stability of the banking system and the European Union's growth prospects'.
Integrating the Outermost Regions (OR) of the European Union into the single market by making better use of their assets with a view to attaining the objectives of the 2020 Strategy: this is the goal of a series of recommendations put forward by the former European Commissioner, Pedro Solbes, in a report presented today to Commissioner Barnier.