Saturday, 2 October 2010

EU: From Monti report to Single Market Act

In his ”State of the Union” speech, the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, outlined the Commission’s Work Programme for 2011.

With regard to the economy, including the internal market, Barroso set the tone during the introduction:

Now is the time to modernise our social market economy so that it can compete globally and respond to the challenge of demography. Now is the time to make the right investments for our future.

The inter-related efforts, dealing with the economic crisis and governance, as well as restoring growth for jobs by accelerating the Europe 2020 (EU2020) reform agenda, were the first two major challenges Barroso mentioned out of five in all.

The 7 September 2010 speech in the European Parliament saw sound public finances as a means to an end: sustainable and inclusive growth for jobs. The aim of the Europe 2020 strategy is to get more people into jobs, boost the competitiveness of companies and deepen the single market.

Single Market Act

Barroso referred to the report by Mario Monti and he promised Commission proposals in October 2010 to deepen the internal market.

Barroso’s letter to the members of the European Parliament (MEMO/10/393) contained more detail about the draft Commission Work Programme (CWP) for 2011, to be adopted by the end of October.

After reminding the MEPs of the flagship initiatives of the EU2020 strategy, Barroso described the coming proposals to unlock the potential of the Single Market. The CWP 2011 will include:

- Measures to be set out in the Single Market Act
- A European framework of reference for contract law and action against the obstacles that businesses and citizens meet when trying to recover debt claims in other Member States. When access to capital is limited, rapid enforcement of claims is essential for the survival of businesses
- An assessment of progress on the development of roaming services
- Revised rules on the re-use of public sector information
- The conclusion of work on collective redress
- Defining how the EU can contribute to addressing the huge challenge of pension reform

Barroso also promised smart regulation, namely proposals to reduce the administrative burden on economic operators, especially small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Ralf Grahn

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