Issue 18 | December 2012

Commission launches consultation on integrated parcel delivery market to boost e-commerce in the EU

57% of e-retailers consider cross-border delivery to be an obstacle to trading, while 47% of consumers worry about delivery in cross-border transactions. An efficient delivery (and return) system is key to facilitating further growth in e-commerce and therefore consumer choice and convenience. This is why the Commission has adopted a Green Paper consultation on the delivery of parcels, with special emphasis on cross-border issues and e-commerce needs. Stakeholders are invited to respond to the consultation before 15 February 2013.

"This Green Paper consultation will help identify the right measures to improve parcel delivery in the single market. A flexible and well-performing EU-wide delivery system focusing on the expectations of consumers and specific needs of e-commerce will contribute directly to the enormous potential of e-commerce for boosting growth and creating jobs."

Latest news »« TOP
Report on the State of the Single Market integration

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.

  More information
Commissioner Barnier welcomes trilogue agreement on Credit Rating Agencies

"I welcome the important agreement reached on additional rules for credit rating agencies (CRAs) which aim to reduce the over-reliance on ratings, eradicate conflicts of interest, and establish a civil liability regime. (...) The EU has already adopted rules on CRAs. Today’s rules build further on the work that we have already done."

  Read the Statement

Conference on Financial Stability, the Single Market and Growth

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.

  More information
European patent: Speech before the Legal Affairs committee

"The economic outlook in Europe – as everyone knows – is not very encouraging. Now more than ever, we need to send a positive message to the companies that are investing in tomorrow's economic growth. The creation of a unitary patent would represent a concrete – but also a symbolic – step in this direction."

  Read the Speechfr

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).

  Read the Speechfr
Women on Boards: Commission proposes 40% objective

The European Commission has taken action to break the glass ceiling that continues to bar female talent from top positions in Europe’s biggest companies. The Commission has proposed legislation with the aim of attaining a 40% objective of the under-represented sex in non-executive board-member positions in publicly listed companies, with the exception of SMEs.

  More information
Visits and Missions »« TOP
Commissioner Barnier, Senegal - 10 – 11 November 2012

The Commissioner spoke at the forum in Dakar Foundation Mo Ibrahim on November 11 on Governance and transparency in Africa. Numerous bilateral meetings were held with the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) and the new leaders of the Government to discuss the prospects of regional markets and the global financial regulatory agenda that primarily affects Africa. At the centre of debates were financial transparency in the extractive industries, forestry and MiFID, particularly regarding the limitation of positions on the markets of agricultural commodities. A cooperation seminar was held Friday, November 10 by the Directorate General for Internal Market and Services with representatives of three Regional Economic Communities (REC): CEMAC, ECCAS and UEMOA and a dozen representatives of their Member States to discuss the issues and barriers faced by these regions in their economic integration.

Commissioner Barnier, Moscow - 14 – 16 November 2012

Commissioner Michel Barnier travelled on 14-16 November to Moscow to hold a number of high level meetings with Russian politicians and officials - on the eve of the country's G20 Presidency. Russia will take on the helmet of the G20 at the beginning of December. Prior to bilaterals with Russia's Finance Minister Siluanov and the Chairman of the Central Bank Ignatiev, the Commissioner met with the Board Members of the Association of European Businesses (AEB). The AEB represents the many, many European companies present in Russia. Commissioner Barnier used the opportunity to gain first-hand insights as regards the regulatory environment and business opportunities in Russia. Bilateral meetings with the Finance Minister Siluanov and the Central Bank chairman Ignatiev concluded the Commissioner's successful trip to Moscow. Here again G20 issues were raised.

Commissioner Barnier, Barcelona - 22 November 2012

The Commissioner visited Barcelona, Spain to participate in a conference on public-private partnerships in the European Union. The Commissioner stressed the importance of partnerships for the financing of major projects, and outlined the progress of new guidelines for procurement and the award of contracts for concessions in negotiations with the European Parliament and the Council. The Commissioner also met the President of the region Catalonia, Artur Mas, and the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, with whom he met on the relaunch of the internal market and regional dimensions of the SMA and its impact for the Catalonia region. Finally he visited the competitiveness centre @22 and the Barcelona Activa incubator, which helps in the development of 20 SMEs per year in the field of the digital economy, with the support of the city and the EU.

Consultations »« TOP
  30.11.2012  -  30.03.2013Intellectual property rightsCivil enforcement of intellectual property rights: public consultation on the efficiency of proceedings and accessibility of measures

  29.11.2012  -  15.02.2013Electronic commercePublic consultation on an integrated delivery market to boost e-commerce in the EU

  22.10.2012  -  14.01.2013Public procurementConsultation on e-invoicing in public procurement

  05.10.2012  -  28.12.2012Financial ServicesConsultation on a possible framework for the recovery and resolution of nonbank financial institutions

News from the Parliament »« TOP
Strasbourg plenary week (November 19 - 22 2012)
  • Short presentation on Social Business Initiative
    Rapporteur Heinz K. Becker (EPP, AT) emphasized the constructive cooperation with the Commission and other institutions in the preparation of his report, which created a strong interest, as testified by the 280 amendments received. He stressed the need to create a new climate of innovation and investment in Europe, and the great potential of social enterprises in this perspective. He also underlined the participation of social enterprises in the social economy and their integration in all sectors of the economy, and their great resistance to the crisis. The report was adopted on Tuesday 20 November by a show of hands.
  • Short presentation on Card, Internet and mobile payments
    M. Sampo Terho (Europe of freedom and democracy Group, FI) presented his report, supporting the Commission's green paper. He called for caution as too many rules could kill a developing sector. He expects the Commission to take into consideration the costs of chèques and cash too. On MIF he said he does not a priori want to ban them as he believes the costs of financing the system would be directly passed on to consumers. But he said he is open to listening to the Commission's arguments. He eventually called for strict data protection. The report was adopted on Tuesday 20 November by a show of hands.
  • Short presentation on Shadow banking
    On 20 November, the European Parliament adopted, without amendment, the report of Saïd El Khadroui (S&D, BE) on the shadow banking system which increases the opportunities of financing but bears systemic risks. In order to increase transparency in this sector, which is worth nearly a third of the global financial system, it suggests the creation and management, possibly by the ECB, of a centralised database on repurchase operations in euro. The European Commission is asked to adopt a coherent method, at the beginning of 2013, with a view to the central collection of data.
  • JURI Committee meeting on patent package following the COREPER of 19/11
    On patents, the JURI committee discussed, and largely argued in favour of supporting the Cyprus Presidency compromise text COREPER had endorsed the same morning (19/11). The Presidency confirmed that the compromise supported by COREPER would not be reopened. The Chair indicated that the EP plenary would vote on the new text only after Council had endorsed it in early December, on the basis of a motion (and possible amendments) to be brought forward by political groups. Commissioner Barnier underlined the priority of the file and the interest to come to a successful conclusion. He regretted that the European Council had reopened the original compromise, but underlined the important improvements that a solution based on the new text would bring. He considered that negotiations had come to a point where they needed to be concluded.
  • Bilateral meetings
    Commissioner Barnier held a series of bilateral meetings on 20 and 21 November, in Strasbourg. On single market issues, he met Mr Swoboda (S&D, AT) for a political overview of IMCO files, and Mr Harbour (ECR, UK) on SMA, public procurement, concessions, governance.He also jointly met German EPP MEPs MM. Engel and Schwab, Ms Gebhardt (S&D, DE) and Mr Juvin on concessions. He met Ms Le Grip (EPP, FR) on professional qualifications.He met Mr Lehne on some JURI files (patents, copyright strategy, audit, transparency/accounting). On financial services, Commissioner Barnier met ECON Chairwoman Sharon Bowles (ALDE, UK).

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

For your diary »Latest publications »Question of the Month »
  14 December 2012
Seminar on Electronic Procurement – An opportunity to provide feedback on Commission projects

20 Years of the European Single Market

Your Europe, Your Rights

The EU and SMEs: A contract for new growth

Single Market Act II – Table of key actions

Do you worry about parcel delivery in cross-border transactions?


Results from the last month:
Do you believe it was necessary for the Commission to unveil an action plan aimed at clarifying the regulation of online gambling and encouraging cooperation between Member States?
YES - 73.3%
NO - 26.7%

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