The European Commission was also represented by Charmaine Hogan from the Directorate General responsible for the Single Market, who participated in a panel discussion on addressing the challenges and harnessing the opportunities of the single market and who also presented the Commission's intentions on the future of the Single Market.
An MBB publication entitled 'Celebrating 20 years of the European Single Market – What it means for Maltese Business' that was financed by the European Commission Representation, was launched during the conference. The publication summarises the results of a survey through focus studies and puts forward a number of recommendations. It mentions challenges that Malta faces due to its size and insularity, and explores solutions related to product diversification, flexibility of Maltese companies, correct implementation of EU legislation, and improved business awareness, amongst others.
A panel made up of representatives of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, the Malta Hotel and Restaurants Association, and the European Commission discussed the findings of the abovementioned survey. Economist Gordon Cordina summed it up well when he stated that "the Single Market should not mean homogeneity – markets work well where there is diversification and this is where opportunities lie for Maltese business!"
Four parallel workshops regarding import, distribution and retail industry, manufacturing, services and the tourism and hospitality industry were held to develop recommendations for the Single Market in the future.
Charmaine Hogan, DG Markt presented the European Commission's agenda for the future of the Single Market. She said that the Commission received more than 260 replies to its public consultation on the future of the Single Market. Four main drivers for growth have been identified :
- Fully integrated networks (transport, energy),
- Mobility of citizens and business,
- The digital economy,
- Social entrepreneurship, cohesion, consumer confidence.
She said that the Commission intends to table the Single Market Act II proposals for all legislative key actions by Spring 2013 and those for non-legislative actions by end 2013.
For some pictures of the event, click here.