The Commission is proposing an initiative which will aim to enhancing the Single Market’s resilience, by providing adequate information, coordination and communication mechanisms between EU institutions, Member States and stakeholders adapted to different phases of a crisis; providing the means to ensure such resilience including availability of products and services relevant for a certain type of crisis and guaranteeing as much as possible the free circulation of goods, services and persons.
Single Market Communication - Related Opinions
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The EESC believes that the single market is essentially about achieving social and economic convergence aimed at reducing inequalities and ensuring that worsening social imbalances do not end up becoming serious obstacles to European integration. The EESC recommends a coordinated approach between Member States on the marketing of products affected by the crisis in Ukraine. The crisis caused by Russia’s aggression has created formidable supply restrictions. An "open strategic autonomy" should be adopted, especially in key sectors, to help build resilience, diversification and an ambitious trade agenda.
The EESC supports the Commission's 'Long-term action plan for better implementation and enforcement of single market rules' and endorses the Communication on Identifying and tackling barriers to the single market.
The EESC believes that the insufficient or inadequate application of EU rules has been the Achilles heel of EU law and that therefore many instances of fraud and illegal behaviour have not been dealt with. It urges the Commission to include in the action plan a clearly defined role for civil society actors, entrepreneurs, workers and consumers.
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.
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