Recent analyses and discussions (see below) have shown that administrative difficulties and regulatory barriers still persist that make it difficult for service providers to go cross-border. Therefore, a number of practical solutions were announced in the Single Market Strategy to make it easier for service providers to expand activities across borders.
One of these initiatives is the Services Passport, which aims to enhance cross-border integration in a number of key services sectors by allowing companies to overcome administrative and possibly regulatory barriers.
With this conference, the Commission wished to further discuss with stakeholders the various policy options that could be envisaged to address the difficulties previously identified, such as:
- the possibility to simplify the administrative requirements that service providers have to comply with when they want to start the cross-border provision of services
- the opportunity and means to address obstacles of a regulatory nature, to facilitate access of service providers into another EU country's market
- the solutions to ensure a better integration of insurance requirements for service providers across the EU.
Programme (PDF, 452kB)
Keynote speech of Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska
- Real-life stories of the cross-border provision of services
- Architecture sector in Germany - Professor Ralf Niebergall (PDF, 2MB)
- Construction sector in Estonia - Estonian government (PDF, 1MB)
- Study on administrative formalities and costs involved in accessing markets cross-border for provision of accountancy, engineering and architecture services - Ecorys (PDF, 601kB)
- 1st breakout session: Tackling administrative barriers (PDF, 758kB)
- 2nd breakout session: Addressing regulatory requirements (PDF, 717kB)
Over the past few years the Commission has carried out several exercises to gather evidence on the remaining obstacles to a fully functioning Single Market for services.
Nine stakeholder workshops (PDF, 760kB) were organised as part of the Single Market Forum 2014, targeting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In addition, the Single Market Forum 2015 allowed the Commission and stakeholders to go deeper in these issues and agree on a call for action for the Single Market, in particular with regards to services.
The Services Passport initiative was supported by the European Council in its Conclusions of 28-29 June 2016 that called on the Commission to put forward solutions to make it easier for businesses in key areas to offer their services in another EU country.
In addition, a wide-reaching public consultation on the Services Passport ran from 3 May to 26 July 2016. The consultation gathered further views from stakeholders, as well as first-hand experiences on the remaining barriers to the cross-border provision of services in the EU.