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No 4 (June 96/Juin 96/Juni 96)
With its proposals for a "Confidence Pact: Action for Employment in Europe", the Commission has underlined that creating jobs remains at the top of the European Union's political agenda. Harnessing the full potential of the Single Market is a key component within this Pact, together with ensuring a macro-economic climate conducive to sustainable growth and job creation, reforming the labour market and focusing EU structural funds and EIB loans on job creation.
The Single Market creates job opportunities in a number of ways. By introducing greater competition within the EU, the Single Market stimulates commercial dynamism and prepares business for the rigours of competition on world markets. Competitive business and commerce are essential to sustainable employment. By facilitating mobility amongst employers and job-seekers, the Single Market also contributes to matching people with relevant skills and experience to employers' requirements, filling jobs that would otherwise be left vacant.
In recognition of the Single Market's contribution, the Pact outlines a series of initiatives on three fronts: filling the remaining gaps in Single Market rules and ensuring the rules are applied in practice; enhancing the competitive environment for business in Europe and helping small and medium-sized enterprises to make the most of Single Market opportunities.
As Single Market Commissioner Mario Monti stressed to the 28 May Internal Market Council (see page 6), the gap is still too wide between Member States' declarations of support for the Single Market and their actions on the ground when it comes to applying and enforcing the rules. The Pact therefore calls on Member States to ensure that draft legislation to implement all the key Directives on public procurement, investment services, intellectual property and company law is presented to their parliaments before the end of 1996. It also calls for the Council to adopt by the end of the year proposals on the European Company Statute, the legal protection of biotechnology inventions and the internal market in electricity.
A number of other Commission initiatives which should further assist job creation are in the pipeline or underway. The Commission is drafting a White Paper on the excessive restrictions which currently hamstring high value-added services, such as financial and audiovisual services. It is pursuing the SLIM exercise with the Member States (see page 4), with a view to the job creation benefits of legislative simplification, and continuing the review of taxation policy launched by Finance Ministers at Verona (see Special Insert). Another White Paper will address the elimination of obstacles to the free movement of workers and individuals, building on the report due from the High-Level Panel chaired by Simone Veil (see page 16).
The Pact is due to be discussed by the Florence European Council on 21-22 June.