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Issue 10 | March 2012

Commission proposes a European Foundation Statute

European Foundations will have legal personality and legal capacity in all Member States. This new status will allow them to carry out activities and channel funding within the EU in an easier and less costly way. It will also allow foundations to benefit from more visibility to promote their activity and attract more funding thanks to a European label.

"We need to support and encourage the valuable work that foundations do for European citizens. In particular, we need to remove the obstacles which hinder their cross-border work on issues such as research, health or culture."

Latest news » « TOP
Making the single market work better: boosting Europe's potential for growth

The single market celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2012, during the single market week (15 to 19 October). In the past 20 years, the single market has helped to 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, as shown by a new report.

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FATF adopts revised international standards against money laundering and terrorist financing

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body with 36 members, and with the participation of over 180 countries, has adopted new standards aimed at strengthening global safeguards and protecting the integrity of the financial system against money laundering and terrorist financing threats. The European Commission will now take steps to ensure that these revised standards are rapidly incorporated into our own European framework.

Statement by Commissioner Barnier

Special Eurobarometer on retail financial services

This Eurobarometer survey examines public opinion in the area of retail financial services (bank accounts, mortgage credit, consumer credit, stocks/bonds/shares, investment funds, insurance and payments). The survey covered 26,856 EU citizens in all 27 EU Member States. It analyses the way in which retail financial services are perceived at EU level and within individual Member States.

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Future European rules for pension funds

"I am aware that there is a lot of concern about the introduction of risk-based solvency rules for pension funds. We will inspire ourselves by these rules when appropriate but that does not mean we will 'copy and paste' Solvency II".

Statement by Commissioner Barnier

Agreement on new European rules to regulate financial derivatives (EMIR)

"I congratulate the European Parliament and the Council on reaching today an important agreement on a regulation for more stability, transparency and efficiency in derivatives markets (…) The era of opacity and shady deals is over".

Statement by Commissioner Barnier
YOUR EUROPE ADVICE receives its 100,000th enquiry

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".

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Intellectual property rights: Winners of "Hands off my Design" competition announced

Counterfeiting and piracy are a growing threat for the economy. In order to draw attention to this phenomenon, the European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy launched an EU-wide contest named "Hands off my Design". Design students and professionals were asked to submit posters and videos.

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Visits and Missions » « TOP
Commissioner Barnier's visit to Munich, 3-5 February 2012

Commissioner Barnier took part in a panel discussion "America, Europe and the Rise of Asia" at the Munich Security Conference. Michel Barnier took the opportunity to reiterate that "Europe has the ability to redefine itself by finding new sources of growth that will make the Union stronger post-crisis and better organised."

Commissioner Barnier's visit to Spain, 9-10 February 2012

Michel Barnier has completed his tour of 27 European capitals by visiting Madrid on 9 and 10 February. The visit was organised around two components: one in Madrid and the second in Alicante to visit the Office for Harmonization for the Internal Market (OHIM). The visit provided the opportunity to meet with many ministers responsible for implementing various aspects of the single market. Mr Barnier spoke at the "Nueva Economia Forum" in the presence of national and European parliamentarians, representatives of industry and the financial sector and ambassadors of all EU Member States. The Commissioner reiterated that: "Europe should not become a mere consumer, contractor and be under the influence of other world powers. We need an industrial policy and identify key areas that can serve as a basis for new growth."

Commissioner Barnier's visit to Nantes, 17 February, 2012

After completing his tour of European capitals Michel Barnier has embarked on a series of visits to European regions. One of which was to Nantes on 17 February to work with a panel of business leaders from the region on issues of SME financing, procurement, innovation and the European patent. In an exchange with local and regional press, he indicated his wish to "reconcile SMEs with Europe". This visit also provided an opportunity for dialogue with national and European parliamentarians.

Commissioner Barnier's visit to the United States, 22-24 February 2012

This was Commissioner Barnier's fifth visit to the United States during his mandate as Commissioner for the Internal Market. He met with Secretary Geithner as well as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Mr. Bernanke, and the Chairs of the regulatory agencies SEC and CFTC to take stock of progress on the implementation of the G20 commitments, in particular as regards the Basel 3-agreement and rules on OTC-derivatives and accounting. He also expressed the EU's doubts about the recently presented US draft rules on proprietary trading. In addition, the Commissioner spoke at the US Chamber of Commerce.

Consultations » « TOP
11.01.2012 - 11.04.2012 Payment Services Green Paper – Towards an integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments

20.02.2012 - 14.05.2012 Company Law Consultation on the future of European Company Law
News from the Parliament » « TOP
Strasbourg plenary week (13-16 February 2012)

The main event of this EP's plenary was the speech given by Mario Monti, President of the Italian Council, in front of very receptive and charmed MEPs. "Super Mario", as he was repeatedly and positively nicknamed by the MEPs, pledged to defend EU institutions at a time when national governments are increasingly blaming Brussels for austerity.

During Question Time, there was an open debate between Commissioners and MEPs on a specific political issue. For the second time Commissioner Barnier participated in such an event, this time on the issue of the services and their contribution to growth, competitiveness and employment in Europe. During this 1,5-hour-debate, Commissioner Barnier, along with the Commission's Vice President Tajani and Commissioner Andór, communicated and explained the Commission's strategy for the development of the services sector in Europe, answering to precise questions on current and forthcoming initiatives.

See also:
Website: IMCO (Internal Market Committee)
Website ECON (Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee)

For your diary » Latest publications » Question of the Month »
Friday 27 April 2012
Conference: Towards a better regulation of the shadow banking system

Single Market Act - Together for new growth Single Market Act Together for new growth

Europe's Single Market, together for new growth

Restoring the health and stability of the EU financial sector

Single Market News
Issue 62

Do you agree that the Single Market has helped create millions of jobs and made Europe increasingly competitive?


Results from the last month:
Do you feel secure shopping online?
YES - 70.6%
NO - 29.4%

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