Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission

Commissioner M. Barnier, JRC Director General D. Ristori, OECD's Deputy Secretary-General Y. Leterme and EP STOA Committee chairman A. Correia de Campos

Commissioner M. Barnier, JRC Director General D. Ristori, OECD's Deputy Secretary-General Y. Leterme and EP STOA Committee chairman A. Correia de Campos© EU, 2013

Roundtable: Scientific support to the Internal Market


At the initiative of the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, Michel Barnier, the JRC has organised today a roundtable on "Scientific support to Internal Market".  It brought together high-ranking researchers, businesses, consumer associations and EU policymakers.  Around 90 experts discussed how science-based advice can further develop the EU's internal market. Besides Commissioner Barnier, JRC Director General, Dominique Ristori, OECD's Deputy Secretary-General, Yves Leterme and European Parliament's STOA (Science and Technology Options Assessment) Committee chairman, Antonio Correia de Campos, addressed the participants at the opening.

The programme covered three main topics linked to three areas with a great growth potential: a more integrated single market for services, a better protection and development of intellectual property and the digital economy.

In his closing remarks, JRC Director General called for integrating more science to support smart regulation and economic governance. He said that full implementation of the Services Directive required more in-depth analysis on the evaluation and monitoring of the barriers to the services market. The JRC stood ready to build on its current research and contribute, along with policy Directorates General, both to short and long term efforts to improve the functioning of the single market.

He also emphasised the need for assessment of the cumulative impact of services regulation and barriers to trade in services and called for the improvement of data collection. A proper development of standards in services, which is still at a preliminary stage, would give a new impetus to generating competitive advantage, increasing market access and innovation, according to him.

Regarding e-commerce, the Director General affirmed that more analysis was a pre-condition to understanding what hinders online transactions and what drives geo blocking of access to websites and products from other countries in order to unlock its great potential, as e-commerce borders remain limited.

Background information

The single market has created opportunities to live, travel, study, work and do business for 500 million citizens and 22 million companies across Europe. However, it is still fragmented in some sectors due to remaining barriers and cross-border obstacles. Some examples are the Services directive, which is not fully implemented yet at national level, as well as cross-border e-commerce and e-procurement, which are far from having reached their full potential. In addition, there's need to create a modern copyright framework for the digital single market and more effective co-operation at all levels to fight counterfeiting and piracy.

The economic and financial crises have exacerbated fragmentation, especially in the financial services. Moreover, the single market is constantly evolving due to economic, technological and social changes naturally arising from the knowledge based economy.  In this context, by assessing different sectors and analysing options and tools to prepare the ground for evidence-based reforms, scientific research can play an increasing role in boosting the potential of the single market.



Session I – Science support to a more integrated Single Market for services

Session II – How can science contribute to a better protection and valorisation of intellectual property in the EU: the case of copyright and anti-counterfeiting

Session III – Scientific support to the digital economy: e-commerce and e-procurement