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Issue 5 | October 2011

Single Market Forum debates 20 main concerns

Krakow, 3 October. In his opening speech at the Single Market Forum organised by the Commission together with the Polish Presidency and the European Parliament, Michel Barnier insisted on the necessity of re-invigorating the single market to counterbalance the risks of a new "double-dip" crisis brought on by sovereign debt. Participants were invited to discuss the 20 main concerns on the state of the single market as voiced by EU citizens and enterprises. Eight workshops dealt with topics such as the recognition of professional qualifications, posting of workers, fundamental social rights and the functioning of the EU public procurement legislation. The Forum concluded with a joint declaration that includes the conclusions from the eight workshops.

"The single market is yours! You have your say in making the single market a tool for citizens and businesses, into a source of growth and social progress. This forum is not an isolated event. The boost we want to give the single market requires regular appointments" (Krakow 3,4 October Single Market Forum)

Latest news » « TOP
New Eurobarometer on citizens' satisfaction with the single market

Brussels, 29 September. The latest Eurobarometer survey on the single market was published. European citizens are satisfied with the possibilities the Single Market offers in terms of a bigger choice of products (74%), more jobs (52%) and fair competition (47%). On the other hand, the single market is perceived as only benefiting big companies (62%), worsening working conditions (51%) and not helping poor and disadvantaged people (53%). 28% of those interviewed would consider working abroad. The survey reveals that many Europeans are not aware of the single market and its benefits (35%).

Watch the video
Winners of "Tell us your story" competition present their videos

On Monday, 3 October, at the Single Market Forum, the 5 winners of the EU-wide competition "Tell us your Story" presented their videos. Their stories were considered to be the best representations of the kinds of practical problems encountered in the single market. One of the winners, Barbara Gartner from Austria, told participants how her pumpkin seed farm had developed over the years into a successful business, receiving more and more orders from abroad. However, when dispatching her pumpkin seed oil products to other EU countries, she found that the prices for postage doubled even when it concerned neighbouring states. She wondered how this could be possible in a market where goods and services are supposed to circulate freely. Other stories concerned difficulties with online shopping, rights when working in another EU country, problems with payment systems when established abroad and a car rental company's discrimination of drivers under 30.

Watch the stories

Commission seeks experts on payment systems

The European Commission is looking for new specialists to re-cast the membership of the Payment Systems Market Expert Group (PSMEG). The Group's mandate is to help with the preparation of legislation in the area of payment systems including fraud prevention. A fresh supply of members should help to reach a better balance between users and providers of payment services. More consumer and civil society representatives are invited to join. Interested candidates can send an application to the Commission by 7 October 2011. A maximum of 40 experts will be selected.

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Copyright: Commission brokers agreement on out-of-commerce books

Brussels, 20 September. A solution is at hand for accessing books that can no longer be found on store-bookshelves but are still available in collections and archives of Europe's libraries. These out-of-commerce books will soon be available online as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by libraries, publishers, authors and collecting societies. Commissioner Barnier said: "this agreement marks an important step forward by stakeholders to find viable and concrete solutions to further the creation of Europe's digital libraries and ensure access to our rich cultural heritage."

More information on the MoU
Memorandum and other information on copyright in the EU

New Scoreboard shows disappointing results

The latest Internal Market Scoreboard issued on 29 September reports that for the first time since 2007, Member States have missed the 1% transposition deficit, which means they have missed deadlines for transposing laws or that their national interpretations are wrong. Only eleven Member States have reached the 1% target. In an effort to support Member States to turn the tide, this edition of the Scoreboard devotes one of its chapters to best practices in Member States, reporting on successful mechanisms for timely and correct transposition. The special focus is on Belgium, where between 2007 and 2010, the number of infringement procedures soared. It shows how Belgium managed to reverse this negative trend last year and improve its score by 9%.

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Meet DG MARKT's top officials » « TOP
Meet DG MARKT's top officials

DG MARKT is the unofficial name for the Directorate General for the Internal Market and Services.

Meet DG MARKT's top officials
Visits and Missions » « TOP
Vilnius - 7 and 8 September. Commissioner Barnier visits Lithuania

Michel Barnier met the Lithuanian government which has started its preparation for the EU presidency in the second half of 2013. As internal market issues will figure high on the agenda, Commissioner Barnier explained how financial services reform and the Single Market Act must be tackled together. Although government officials expressed their doubts with regard to plans on taxation issues, strong support existed for all non-taxation matters of the Single Market Act with a strong focus on delivery during their presidency. Michel Barnier and President Grybauskeite agreed that "growth is the answer" to rising populism and anti-european voices.

Paris - 12 September. Debate on What are the motors of future growth?

Michel Barnier visited "le Centre d'Analyse Stratégique" to discuss the question: What are the motors of future growth? He spoke in favour of laws that serve the real economy, such as those that force more transparency in financial markets and emphasised that Europeans should look at the huge potential for growth embedded in their own single market, like mobility, easier rules for SMEs, innovation and buying and selling online.

Paris - 22 and 23 September. Michel Barnier met Jean-Pierre Jouyet discuss financial regulation

With stock markets in turmoil, Michel Barnier met Jean-Pierre Jouyet, President of the French Financial Market Authority to discuss regulation. Michel Barnier: "The crisis requires an overall response. We need to ensure banks recapitalise in accordance with Basel 3. This is particularly urgent for banks that have not passed the stress tests." Other topics included financing for SMEs and shortselling.

Read the interview by La Tribune
Consultations » « TOP
18.11.2011 Copyright Green Paper on the online distribution of audiovisual works in the European Union: opportunities and challenges towards a digital single market
News from the Parliament » « TOP
Strasbourg, 12 September: Commissioner Barnier's speech on auditing

Commissioner Barnier held a speech at the European Parliament's plenary session on the independence of auditors, opening and deepening the European audit market and supervision in the context of the Commission's future proposal on audit policy.

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Strasbourg, 28 September: President Barroso's State of the Union Address

Describing the present as living in "real emergency times", President Barroso insisted on a quick delivery of the Single Market Act by means of a fast track legislative procedure. He praised the EU's decisiveness in designing a new system of financial regulation and urged the Council and Parliament to approve the remaining proposals for new rules such as those on derivatives and credit default swaps. He stated: "Let's remember, we have already tabled 29 pieces of legislation. You have already adopted several of them, including the creation of independent supervising authorities, which are already working. We will be the first constituency in the G20 to have delivered on our commitment to global efforts for financial regulation."

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

For your diary » Latest publications » Question of the Month »
Brussels, 18 October
Conference: "Prevention and Insurance of Natural Catastrophes"

Brussels, 24 October
Conference on the European post trading landscape

Brussels, 07 November
Conference: Modernisation of the Professional Qualifications Directive

Brussels, 18 November
Conference: Social Economy and Social Business

Brussels, 28 November
Conference on: Doing business made easier? Making the most of the "Points of Single Contact".

Single Market through the lens of people: a snapshot of citizens' and businesses' views and concerns

Internal Market Scoreboard

Single Market News #61

As an EU citizen, do you feel you are fully aware of your rights in the single market?


Results from the last month:
Do you have confidence in the EU stress tests of the banks?
YES - 32.6%
NO - 67.4%

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