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Issue 11 | April 2012

European Commission levels the playing field for European business in international procurement markets

The European Commission proposes to improve business opportunities for EU firms in international procurement markets. The main objective of the initiative is to help open worldwide public procurement markets and to ensure European businesses have fair access to them. The proposal also aims to ensure that all companies (both European and non-European firms) are on an equal footing when it comes to competing for business in the EU's lucrative public procurement market.

"Our initiative builds on Europe's belief that the opening up of public procurement generates benefits at global and European levels. We are open for business and we are ready to open up more, but only if companies can compete on an equal footing with their competitors."

Latest news » « TOP
Where we are on financial reform priorities for 2012

"We need to go beyond measures that repair the damage of the crisis, and look ahead to proactive measures on shadow banking, measures for consumers, and potential structural reform of our banks."

Read the speech
Commissioner Barnier welcomes the strengthening of intellectual property rights body

"I am very pleased that the Council has adopted an EU Regulation entrusting the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) with new tasks. This marks an important step that should allow us to develop a better understanding of the impact of intellectual property right (IPR) infringements on the EU economy".

Read the statement

Shining a light on shadow banking

In order to make the financial sector sounder and safer, it is now time to deal with the growing area of "shadow banking" – credit activity that is similar to a bank's, but is not regulated like a bank. To a certain extent, shadow banking performs important functions – for example, it creates additional sources of funding and offers investors alternatives to bank deposits. But it can also pose potential threats to long-term financial stability.

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Commission acts to increase the safety and efficiency of securities settlement in Europe

The European Commission has proposed to set up a European common regulatory framework for the institutions responsible for securities settlement, called Central Securities Depositories (CSDs). The proposal will bring more safety and efficiency to securities settlement in Europe. It also seeks to shorten the time it takes for securities settlement and to minimise settlement fails.

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The truth about a Europe that acts for financial regulation and growth

The European Union is carrying out some ambitious initiatives in order to address the crises that we have faced, and continue to face. The steps we are taking towards a sound financial regulation, better governance and stronger, more sustainable growth are leading us in the right direction.

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Towards a real single market for occupational pensions offering greater choice and better protection for pensioners

"I would like to outline the five reasons why I believe that the revision of the Directive will help us to benefit from a more modern legislative framework better adapted to current socio-economic requirements". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the public hearing on the revision of the Directive on occupational pensions.

Read the speech
Visits and Missions » « TOP
Commissioner's visit to Paris, March 6 2012

As part of a major conference organized by the Representation of the Commission in Paris on the theme of "European response to the crisis", Commissioner Barnier stressed the need to develop a true "European Initiative for Growth" which would add to the new Treaty on fiscal discipline. This visit was also an opportunity for the Commissioner to return to speak before the Senate (Economic Affairs, European Affairs and Finance committees), a little more than a year after his first hearing, to present the Commission's positive assessment concerning financial regulation.

Commissioner's visit to Berlin, March 26 2012

Commissioner Barnier met with a number of ministers and business representatives during his visit to Berlin on 26 March. Minister Rössler emphasised Germany's full commitment to the single market. The Commissioner clarified the details of the recent third country international public procurement instrument. He discussed the state of play of CRD IV with Minister Schäuble. The business representatives were particularly interested in the follow up to the Single Market Act and the Commission's intentions regarding the review of the Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) Directive.

Consultations » « TOP
20.03.2012 – 12.06.2012 Retail financial services Consultation on bank accounts

20.02.2012 - 14.05.2012 Company Law Consultation on the future of European Company Law

11.01.2012 - 11.04.2012 Payment Services Green Paper – Towards an integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments
News from the Parliament » « TOP
Strasbourg plenary week (12-15 March 2012)

There was a short presentation given by Sven Giegold, Member of the European Parliament, on the Statute for a European cooperative society with regard to the involvement of employees in which the Rapporteur underlined the economic and social importance of cooperatives and urged the EU to be neutral in terms of its support with regard to the format of companies.

During Question Time, there was an open debate between Commissioners and MEPs on the Role of the EU in stimulating the competitiveness of the economies in the 27 Member States. For the third time Commissioner Barnier participated in such an event, along with the Commission's Vice President Tajani and Commissioner Andór.

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

For your diary » Latest publications » Question of the Month »
Thursday 26 April 2012
Conference on "Enforcement of intellectual property rights: review of Directive 2004/48/EC"

Friday 27 April 2012
Conference: Towards a better regulation of the shadow banking system

Friday 4 May 2012
Conference on card, internet and mobile payments (MEX/12/0320)

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 European businesses have fair access to worldwide public procurement markets?


Results from the last month:
Do you agree that the Single Market has helped create millions of jobs and made Europe increasingly competitive?
YES - 68.1%
NO - 31.9%

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