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Issue 3 | July 2011

Brussels, 22 June:
Commissioner Barnier launches consultation on modernising the Professional Qualifications Directive

The mobility of EU citizens is one of the 12 levers of growth outlined in the Single Market Act, which was adopted in April. One key area is the mobility of professionals, which the Commission seeks to enhance through modernization of the Professional Qualifications Directive. In a Green Paper now open for consultation, the Commission outlines possible ways forward to enhance mobility: For instance, the introduction of a professional card closely linked to the Internal Market Information System (IMI) could make it easier for professionals to have their qualifications recognised in another Member State. Similarly, new sets of commonly agreed criteria for professional qualifications developed jointly between Member States could facilitate the mobility of professionals where there is no automatic recognition of their qualifications. Input from stakeholders on the Green Paper is invited and a legislative proposal is foreseen for December 2011.

"We need to make it easier for professionals to go to where job vacancies exist. We will consider a number of important issues including the creation of a professional card and improving the training requirements for certain professions."

Latest news » « TOP
Brussels, 30 June: Conference on Public Procurement

Public procurement rules define how public authorities spend taxpayers' money when buying goods, works or services. Solid procurement rules prevent governments from favouring a specific economic operator and guarantee sound competition between market players. This helps governments to find best value for taxpayers' money.

On 30 June, Commissioner Michel Barnier invited all stakeholders interested in public procurement to Brussels for a discussion on how to modernize public procurement in the EU. The Commission presented the results of an evaluation of existing rules and of the public consultation launched in January this year. Discussions held at this conference will provide a significant contribution to the preparation of a new legislative proposal.

Michel Barnier:
"Public procurement has a vital role to play in promoting innovation; respect for the environment and the fight against climate change; and improving employment and social conditions for all Europeans."

More Information
Call for Proposals
Luxembourg, 27 June: Extraordinary Council Meeting on Competitiveness

In an extraordinary Council meeting on competitiveness held in Luxembourg, European Ministers agreed on a general approach for implementing enhanced cooperation in the creation of unitary patent protection, which will be valid throughout participating Member States. The new system will help European companies attract investment into their innovative activities by expediting patent processing.

Commissioner Michel Barnier said:
"We are now entering the home straight. Working closely with the European Parliament, our final objective – the creation of unitary patent protection - is within reach. If we maintain our present momentum and cooperative spirit, a unitary patent in Europe could be a reality within the next two years."

Brussels, 15 June: Commission Launches Consultation on Venture Capital Funds

The Commission launched a consultation on new European rules for venture capital funds, which are an important source of financing for innovative SMEs that encounter difficulties in accessing bank loans or listing on stock exchanges. The development of venture capital funds will improve SMEs' access to finance, and thus their opportunities to grow and expand, as outlined in the Single Market Act. The consultation document proposes a European passport that would be made available to venture capital funds. This would enable them to raise capital freely throughout the EU from professional investors and invest in innovative SMEs.

View the consultation document
Krakow, 2-4 October: Single Market Forum

Anticipation is building for the Single Market Forum, which will be held in Krakow later this year. The forum will gather market participants such as businesses, social partners, non-governmental organisations, public authorities at various levels of government and Parliaments. It will examine the state of the single market, the transposition and application of existing directives aimed at making the single market work in practice, and facilitate exchanges of best practice."

More information

Krakow, 2-4 October: "Tell Us Your Story"

At the Single Market Forum, the results of the "Tell Us Your Story" campaign will be featured. With a deadline of June 24, "Tell Us Your Story" was a competition that collected real-life stories by EU citizens, consumers and enterprises, 128 entries were submitted.

It welcomed entries from all those who have had challenges related to the European single market. Those who have stumbled on obstacles when working or living abroad, travelling, dealing with taxation or doing cross-border business. Those who for example, have found it hard to get their ID papers or school qualifications recognized. Or those who have faced cumbersome procedures to rent a flat or open a bank account. Five finalists will be selected to share their stories on video and live at the Single Market Forum.

More information
Meet Commissioner Barnier's Cabinet » « TOP
Meet Commissioner Barnier's Cabinet

All 27 European Commissioners including the President are supported by a Cabinet. The Cabinet is the private office of the Commissioner. Its role is to prepare legislative and policy dossiers for the weekly meetings of the college of Commissioners.

Commissioner Barnier's Cabinet
Visits and Missions » « TOP
The Hague, 9 June: Commission Barnier Assesses Enforcement of EU rules on the single market in the Netherlands

On 9 June, Michel Barnier visited The Hague to meet with Dutch leaders to exchange views on the single market, internal market policy and enforcement. As part of the day's activities, Michel Barnier met with Fred Teeven, Minister of Justice and Security, Maxime Verhagen, Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, and Bernard Wientjes, the Chairman of the Confederation of Industry and Employers. The Commissioner also had an exchange of views with the Dutch Parliament and ended the day with an informal encounter with two entrepreneurs. Michel Barnier assured them that a common European Patent would soon become reality, despite objections from some Member States. The Dutch entrepreneurs welcomed this news while they expressed their frustrations with the market's fragmentation at present. "Different rules in different countries are driving us crazy", they told Michel Barnier.

Washington DC 2-3 June: Commissioner Barnier discusses implementation of G20 commitments on financial sector reform with US authorities

Making his third visit to the American capital in 18 months, Michel Barnier met with Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury, Ben Bernanke, President of the Federal Reserve, and with leaders of major regulatory agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. Discussions focused, inter alia, on the need for strong convergence and coherence in the practical implementation of G20 commitments to avoid loopholes and overlaps between those rules. Discussion progressed notably on the implementation of new rules for derivatives. Commissioner Barnier insisted on the importance of respecting G20 commitments on remuneration in the financial sector.

Michel Barnier said:
"The challenge today is to ensure that the new rules - in Europe and the United States – actually modify the behaviour of financial actors. It is also imperative to ensure that Americans and Europeans act in parallel and with the same level of ambition to avoid a return to regulatory arbitrage."

Speech by Michel Barnier to the Brookings Institution

Madrid, 21 June: Nadia Calviño discusses competition in financial services

Nadia Calviño, Deputy Director General of DG MARKT was in Spain to participate in a conference on "Competition in Financial Services". She also participated in a roundtable with representatives of the financial services industry and held bilateral meetings with CNMV, the capital markets regulator and supervisor, the Banco de España and the Secretary of State for Economy. A number of issues were flagged such as the upcoming stress test results and the Commission's forthcoming proposal to implement Basel 3 into EU law, so called "capital requirements directive 4".

Brussels 7 June: Jonathan Faull opens Public Hearing on the Digital Environment

The hearing organised for all stakeholders, including businesses and artists, kicked off with a presentation of the initial results of a consultation on Directive 2004/48/EC on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, which received almost 400 responses. Stakeholders were invited to share their perspectives on the issue.

Jonathan Faull, Director General of DG MARKT, explained: "The Internet has become a major asset to business and trade. But it has also opened up new possibilities for illegal activities. The key question is how we react to this. The constant and rapid evolution of the sector exposes us to a real challenge. We must devise policy for the future, not for the past. To meet the challenge, we cannot rely on our own expertise and knowledge alone. We need to pool all the expertise that is out there. Hence our consultation process and this hearing."

Consultations » « TOP
05.04.2011 - 22.07.2011 Company Law The EU corporate governance framework

24.03.2011 - 31.07.2011 Gambling Green Paper on online gambling services in the Internal Market

08.06.2011 - 02.08.2011 Public Procurement Consultation on the access of third countries to the EU's public procurement market

15.06.2011 - 10.08.2011 Investment Funds Consultation on a new European regime for Venture Capital

22.06.2011 - 20.09.2011 Free movement of professionals Green Paper – Modernising the Professional Qualifications Directive
News from the Parliament » « TOP
Highlights Strasbourg plenary week 06-09 June 2011

  • Five major areas covered during the plenary sessions: Credit Rating Agencies, the Multiannual Financial Framework, Economic Governance Package, European Contract Law, and European Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • Meetings of the ECON committee and IMCO committee took place, with the latter making a breakthrough in consumer rights negotiations. MEPs and Council representatives agreed provisionally on an EU-wide right for consumers to change their minds about purchase decisions within two weeks and clearer pricing rules for internet sales.
  • See also:
    Website: IMCO (Internal Market Committee)
    Website ECON (Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee)

For your diary » Latest publications » Question of the Month »
October 02-04 2011, Krakow
Single Market Forum

Towards more responsibility and competitiveness in the European financial sector

Revamping Intellectual PropertyRights in the European Union

Have you ever had problems getting your professional qualifications recognised when moving between European countries?


Results from the last month:
Have you encountered problems with digital content not being available because of licensing issues?
YES - 70.8%
NO - 29.2%

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