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Consultations 2009

Closed Consultations

SEPA (19.11.2009 – 18.12.2009)

Summary The banking industry has taken up the challenge of creating a Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). The first SEPA payment instrument was launched on 28 January 2008. SEPA allows customers to make non-cash euro payments to any beneficiary located in the EU and the EEA using a single bank account and a single set of payment instruments. Ultimately, all retail payments in euro will be treated as “domestic” payments, thus eliminating differences between national and cross-border payments within the EU/EEA.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is acting as a catalyst in this process and is cooperating with the European Commission to ensure that SEPA will be in the best interests of all parties involved.

Two surveys have already been conducted via the European Business Test Panel, one in 2007 and one in 2008. The first investigated corporate awareness and readiness for SEPA and the second helped to monitor the migration process.

The aim of this consultation is to further investigate corporate awareness of and readiness for SEPA, as well as to ensure that the new SEPA products meet corporate needs.

Your participation in this survey will help the ECB to understand how SEPA will impact your payment habits.

  • Aggregate results PDFEnglish
  • Report PDFEnglish

The importance of family-friendliness for business development (1.10.2009 – 30.10.2009)

Summary The survey will take stock of the existing family-friendly solutions and provide information on the main obstacles to introduce such measures, from the businesses point of view. The questionnaire will be prepared in co-operation with DG Employment which is responsible for collecting information on family policies and family-friendly initiatives across the European Union.

Taking into account the research on work-life balance conducted by the Dublin Foundation, the survey shall focus on pro-active solutions such as provision of childcare services by companies etc.

  • Aggregate results PDFEnglish
  • Report PDFEnglish

Consultation on "Availability of bank credit" (12.08.2009 – 28.09.2009)

Summary The European Commission seeks to collect information from the EU businesses on the development of availability and conditions of bank credit since 2008.

This consultation focuses on the flow of bank credit to the European businesses in the current economic environment by asking questions on two main types of bank credit: loans and lines of credit. Lines of credit differ from bank loans because they allow businesses to draw down, repay and re-draw funds as needed without exceeding a limit that has been agreed with a bank in advance.

The European Commission intends to use the results of this survey in a report on the impact of bank capital regulation on the economic cycle to be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council in January 2010.

  • Aggregate results PDFEnglish
  • Report PDFEnglish

European Environmental legislation (26.06.2009 - 14.08.2009)


Nearly every business bears or creates costs associated with the environment – from energy use, vehicle use or disposal of waste - many of which can be reduced profitably.

Many businesses also benefit or bear costs from environment policy. A large part of the environment policy affecting businesses is shaped in the European Union.

The European Commissioner for the Environment and his team want to shape your laws and support schemes so that they benefit your business and the local and global environment at the same time.

To do this successfully, we need feedback from business about the ways in which you can benefit from changes to policy. This consultation, which is aimed at all businesses, is designed to gather some of that feedback.

This covers topics about input efficiency, energy use, your sources of information and motivation to change, effectiveness of policy, administrative costs from environment-related policy, liabilities and sales of green products. The answers will be used by the Commission and national governments to inform the design and revision of policy – especially policies to support business in their efforts to become more efficient and reduce their harm to the environment. The shape of these policies, for example how funds are best allocated through support schemes, will be influenced by the information provided.

The questions will take 15 minutes to answer.

  • Aggregate results PDFEnglish
  • Report PDFEnglish

Consultation on Redress for mass claims (16.06.2009 – 15.07.2009)

Summary Mass claims are situations were two or more consumers collectively allege to be harmed by the same illegal practice of a trader/supplier, such as overcharging or lack of providing mandatory information before signing a contract. In such cases both the consumer and the trader/supplier should have adequate means to solve the dispute. Such means can be both non-judicial (e.g. internal consumer handling system, out-of-court settlement such as mediation or arbitration) or judicial.

The European Commission is currently examining the operation of specific mechanisms designed to deal with mass claims in Europe.

This questionnaire forms part of a larger investigation into how traders/suppliers and consumers can solve a mass claim situation efficiently. Mass claims can concern both SMEs and larger companies.

  • Aggregate results PDFEnglish
  • Report PDFEnglish

Consultation on SOLVIT (25.3.2009 – 8.5.2009)


SOLVIT is an EU network consisting of 30 national centres that work together to solve problems for citizens and businesses arising from incorrect or inappropriate application of EU internal market law by national administrations in cross-border situations. The caseload of SOLVIT is steadily growing each year.

However this increase is mainly due to more citizens finding their way to SOLVIT.

This consultation is an important means to understand the reasons why businesses do not contact SOLVIT more often in case of problems in the internal market.

This consultation will provide us with input for a better strategy to promote SOLVIT within the business community.

  • Aggregate results
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  • Report PDFEnglish

Consultation on suggestions for administrative burden reduction (8.01.2009 – 30.01.2009)


The Best Idea for Red Tape Reduction Award aims at identifying innovative suggestions for reducing unnecessary bureaucracy stemming from European law. Cutting red tape will allow companies to spend more time on their core activities and free up resources for research, innovation and growth. The purpose of the competition is to generate ideas for the European Commission to consider as part of its Action Programme for Reducing Administrative Burdens.

The EBTP members are asked to share their experiences with European legislation and to suggest ways to improve the current regulatory framework.

  • Progress report PDFEnglish