Important legal notice
Contact | Search on Europa 

2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004

What is EBTP?
2008 EBTP Evaluation
Role of Panel Members
Role of National
Co-ordinators and the European Commission

Sign Up
List of National Co-ordinators
Privacy Statement

Consultations 2004

Trading Goods Across the EU - Applying the Principle of Mutual Recognition (21.06.2004 - 10.09.2004)


The Internal Market has made trading goods within the European Union a lot easier. For a large number of goods, such as cars or cosmetics, common rules have been introduced at European level. In a large number of sectors, however, trade takes place without any prior harmonisation at European level. These sectors benefit from the application of the so-called “mutual recognition" principle, which means that when a good is lawfully marketed in one Member State, other Member States should "recognise" the conditions under which it is manufactured and/or marketed and accept it onto their markets. Mutual recognition is, however, subject to some restrictions. The Member State of destination has the right to require that the product offers at least an "equivalent" level of protection. This concerns public safety, health or environmental protection. Any measures taken by a Member State to restrict the flow of goods coming from another Member State must be well founded, necessary and proportionate. We know that the principle of mutual recognition is not always correctly applied in practice. This is sometimes due to a lack of information on the part of market surveillance authorities, economic operators, or both. Companies also complain about legal uncertainty and not knowing whether the goods they sell will indeed offer an "equivalent" protection level so that their goods can be sold in other Member States. The Commission has taken the view that the application of the mutual recognition principle needs to be improved without at the same time compromising legitimate public interests. Improvements are also necessary in the light of the expansion of the Union to 25 Member States. The purpose of this consultation is to learn more about how the operation of this principle affects your business whether you are a producer, exporter, importer or distributor of goods and to seek your opinion on a number of options and solutions which could help improve its application.

  • Executive summary PDF - 90KBEnglish
  • Full report PDF - 600KBEnglish
  • Aggregate results PDF - 26KBDanskDeutschελληνικάEnglishEspa?lFran?isItalianoNederlandsPortugu?SuomiSvenska


Revision of the directives on review procedures in the field of public procurement (05.04.2004 – 07.05.2004)


Public procurement accounts for about 16% of EU GDP. Community policy aims to increase this through greater competition and transparency. This should lead to more opportunities for businesses and better value for the taxpayer. In order to ensure that the rules work well, businesses have the opportunity under national procedures to review how public procurement decisions are made.The Commission is currently assessing how review procedures work with a view to proposing improvements so that businesses have more confidence in the system. This is why we are consulting you. We would like to learn about your participation in public tenders and to have your views on how the rules work and your suggestions for further improvements.

  • Preliminary results PDF - 26KBDanskDeutschελληνικάEnglishEspa?lFran?isItalianoNederlandsPortugu?SuomiSvenska
  • Aggregate results PDF - 26KBDanskDeutschελληνικάEnglishEspa?lFran?isItalianoNederlandsPortugu?SuomiSvenska


Consultation on taxation costs (01.09.2003 – 31.01.2004)


In order to have a better understanding of the impact of taxation on companies' decisions and activities, and potential costs that may arise from the lack of coordination in this area at EU level, the European Commission's Taxation and Customs Union Directorate-General launched a European Tax Survey.