Our stroll down memory lane took us from the consultation paper Towards a Single Market Act COM(2010) 608 final/2 to the European Commission’s 2011 Single Market Act (SMA) communication:
Twelve levers to boost growth and strengthen confidence
"Working together to create new growth"
Brussels, 13.4.2011 COM(2011) 206 final (26 pages)
The SMA communication did not forget the fifty proposals of the green paper, but highlighted a first wave of twelve priority measures (“levers”) intended for adoption by the end of 2012, pomp and circumstance provided by 20 years of the European Single Market.
Here I am content to recall the key actions listed in Annex 1 (pages 24-25):
1 Legislation designed to make it easier for venture capital funds established in a Member State to invest freely in any other Member State, without obstacles or additional requirements
2 Legislation modernising the system for recognising professional qualifications
3 Legislation setting up a unitary patent protection for the greatest possible number of Member States and a unified patent litigation system with the objective of issuing the first EU patents in 2013
4 Legislation on Alternative Dispute Resolution. This action will also include an electronic commerce dimension.
5 Revision of the legislation on the European standardisation system, to extend it to services and make standardisation procedures more effective, efficient and inclusive
6 Energy and transport infrastructure legislation serving to identify and roll out strategic projects of European interest and to ensure interoperability and intermodality
7 Legislation ensuring the mutual recognition of electronic identification and authentication across the EU and revision of the Directive on Electronic Signatures
8 Legislation setting up a European framework for social investment funds
9 Review of the Energy Tax Directive in order to ensure consistent treatment of different sources of energy, so as to better take into account the energy content of products and their CO2 emission level
10 Legislation aimed at improving and reinforcing the transposition, implementation and enforcement in practice of the Posting of Workers Directive, together with legislation aimed at clarifying the exercise of the freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide services alongside fundamental social rights
11 Simplification of the Accounting Directives
12 Revised and modernised public procurement legislative framework
Main points about the twelve projects of the Single Market Act are on offer in most official EU languages through the press release IP/11/469, with some background information, in English only, in MEMO/11/239 and SPEECH/11/263.
The SMA got off to a flying start. The same day the Commission published proposals concerning two of the “levers”: unitary patent protection IP/11/470 and MEMO/11/240, as well as energy taxation IP/11/468 and MEMO/11/238 and SPEECH/11/265.