To assess EU countries' implementation of the Services Directive, a number of evaluation exercises were carried out. Even though much progress has already been achieved, some barriers to the cross-border trade of services in the EU still remain in place. These exercises (‘peer reviews’) allow EU countries together with the European Commission to review and assess the requirements applicable in different countries and exchange best practice.
Mutual evaluation (2010-11) and performance check (2011-12)
- Mutual evaluation process - the mutual evaluation process consisted of a thorough evaluation of the regulatory framework applicable to services activities in EU countries following the implementation of the Services Directive. Requirements such as prior authorisation, registration requirements and territorial restrictions were evaluated. Results and measures to further improve the Single Market for Services were presented in January 2011. The process revealed barriers such as a wide use of reserved service activities for certain operators, restrictive legal form, and shareholdings requirements and insurance obligations.
- Performance check exercise - the performance check consisted of an assessment of how different pieces of EU legislation (the Services Directive, the e-Commerce Directive and the Professional Qualifications Directive) interact and are jointly applied by EU countries in three important economic sectors (construction, business services and tourism). The exercise revealed deficient implementation of the three above mentioned Directives.
- Commission Staff Working Document on the result of the performance checks of the Internal Market for services (construction, business services and tourism)
- Background notes: Business services (238 kB), construction (238 kB), tourism (207 kB)
- Overview (9 kB)
- Scenarios and questionnaires: Business services (120 kB), construction (103 kB), tourism (108 kB)
|10.03.2011||Conclusions on a better functioning Single Market for services – mutual evaluation process of the Services Directive (41 kB), Competitiveness Council|
|Jan. 2011||Commission presents results of mutual evaluation process:|
|Dec. 2010||Commission publishes results of stakeholder consultation in the context of the Directive’s implementation process|
Stakeholder consultation on mutual evaluation (30 June 2010 – 13 September 2010)
Implementation report - the services package (2011)
To report on the implementation of the Services Directive, the Commission adopted a services package in 2012. The package:
- took stock of progress achieved by EU countries in removing unjustified barriers to the Single Market for Services
- identified restrictions that have not yet been abolished, such as such as the use of residency requirements or economic needs tests
- proposed measures to improve the functioning of the Single Market for Services.
The package consisted of a Commission communication, three staff working documents and an economic assessment:
- Communication on the implementation of the Services Directive
- Commission Staff Working Document: Detailed information on the implementation of Directive 2006/123/EC on services in the Internal Market
- Economic assessment (2012)
- Commission Staff Working Document with a view to establishing guidance on the application of Article 20(2) of Directive 2006/123/EC on services in the internal market (’the Services Directive’) (266 kB)
- Commission Staff Working Document on the result of the performance checks of the internal market for services (construction, business services and tourism)
Peer review (2012-13)
The services package showed that even though some EU countries liberalised or abolished legal form and shareholding requirements as part of their implementation of the Services Directive, these requirements still remain widespread. By contrast, most compulsory tariffs seem to have been abolished in the EU.
The Commission therefore conducted a peer review on legal form and shareholding requirements. Discussions between EU countries took place from the end of 2012 to the beginning of 2013. The findings of the peer review are presented in the Staff Working Document that accompanies the Communication on evaluating national regulations on access to professions.
- Staff Working Document on the outcome of the peer review on legal form, shareholding and tariff requirements under the Services Directive (156 kB)
- Communication on Evaluating national regulations on access to professions – 2 October 2013
- Report on the implementation of Directive 2006/123/EC on services in the Internal Market – 8 June 2012
Assessment of implementation measures in EU countries
The study looks at national measures implementing the provision of the Services Directive and it focuses on the provision of Articles 14, 15 and 16.
Stakeholder workshops on businesses’ experience (2014-15)
To provide evidence of the remaining obstacles to a fully functioning Single Market for Services, the Commission and EU countries carried out nine stakeholder workshops in key cross-border regions between September and November 2014 within the context of the Single Market Forum. These workshops targeted small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are still facing difficulties providing or purchasing services across borders. In addition, a questionnaire was sent to stakeholders seeking additional evidence on their experiences.
Staff Working Documents (2014)
The Commission also published two staff working documents on the national reforms in services markets and access to insurance for services provided in other EU countries:
Information notes by the European Commission
|Dec 2010||'State of implementation of the Services Directive (270 kB)'|
Information note from the Commission to the Competitiveness Council of 10 December 2010
|May 2010||'State of implementation of the Services Directive' (134 kB)|
Information note from the Commission to the Competitiveness Council of 25- 26 May 2010
|Mar 2010||'State of implementation of the Services Directive (137 kB)'|
Information note from the Commission to the Competitiveness Council of 1- 2 March 2010
|Sept 2009||'Implementation of the Services Directive: Making the Internal Market for Services Work Better' (35 kB)|
Information note from the Commission to the Competitiveness Council of 24-25 September 2009
European Parliament and Council documents
Conclusions on a better functioning Single Market for services – mutual evaluation process of the Services Directive (41 kB), Competitiveness Council
|Feb 2011||European Parliament adopts report on implementation of Services Directive2006/123/CE (2010/2053(INI))|
Workshop on 'The implementation of the Services Directive' (53 kB), European Parliament
|May 2010||Presidency report on the mutual evaluation process (100 kB)|
|May 2009||A competitive and sustainable EU industrial policy – an integrated approach (150 kB)|
|Mar 2009||Presidency Conclusions (215 kB), European Council|
|Mar 2009||Single Market – vital tool in testing times (146 kB)|
|Mar 2009||Services Directive implementation workshop (137 kB), European Parliament|
|Dec 2008||Small Business Act for Europe (255 kB)|
|Mar 2008||Presidency Conclusions (190 kB), European Council|
|Feb. 2008||A Single Market for 21st century Europe (103 kB)|
|Mar 2007||Presidency Conclusions (216 kB), European Council|
Input by other parties
Possible effects of the Services Directive (337 kB)
Are the Points of Single Contact truly making things easier for European companies? (861 kB)
The Chambers' perspective on the Points of Single Contact (2 MB)
Unleashing crossborder services (1 MB)
|Feb 2010||Implementation of the Services Directive (2 MB)|
Eurochambers’ most recent report on situation in different EU countries
|July 2009||Implementation of Services Directive (5 MB)|
Eurochambers’ most recent report on situation in different EU countries