The Report on barriers to the single market of the European Commission identifies a broad range of obstacles in the single market taking the perspective of Europe's businesses and consumers. To address these barriers, the Commission adopted an Action Plan for Better Implementation and Enforcement of single market rules, which aims at addressing obstacles that arise from violations of EU law.
Single Market Communication - Related Opinions
This exploratory opinion of the incoming Croatian Presidency should concentrate on the question, how the achievements and advantages of the Single Market could be better presented to the citizens and businesses in order to ensure their support in further efforts towards developing a comprehensive and long-term Single Market strategy for the future.
The annual Union work programme for European standardisation for 2020 identifies priorities for European standardisation. The EESC agrees with the Commission that standardisation is crucial to the strategy for the single market and that it should be constantly updated. Moreover, the EESC considers that there is an urgent need to modernise the European standardisation system to meet global challenges with an innovative process of cooperation.
The EESC welcomes in principle the integration of five predecessor programmes (and of the European Statistical Programme, though that extends beyond the scope of the single market) and a number of budget headings into a single market programme, as it can be expected to produce synergies and improve cost efficiency. Due to steadily increasing volume of work in consumer protection policy EESC urges the Commission to further develop cooperation with consumer networks and organisations and to increase funding for consumer protection. It is also concerned that the negotiations on the EU financial framework could result in cuts and thus in a lower budget than in the past.
The Single Market is coming under growing pressure, partly due to short-sighted national interests, with a significant part of the population increasingly calling it into question. Unnecessary obstacles such as insufficient recognition of qualifications and diplomas, technical constraints at local level, regulatory obstacles due to differences in national legislation and inadequate coordination of e-government solutions at EU level, must be removed to ensure growth, jobs, long-term prosperity.
The EESC believes that the Commission has paid too little attention to the unintended negative side-effects of the Single Market. The consequence could be a further undermining of the Single Market rather than a new dynamic. The Commission should demonstrate a more realistic approach by communicating in a well-balanced tone. In addition to key actions the EU and the Member States must step up their efforts to overcome the financial, economic and budgetary crisis and to release the full potential of the Single Market. The EESC would very much welcome the fast application of the measures proposed in the Communication on the Governance of the Single Market to improve the overall implementation of EU rules.