Thursday 9 December 2010

EU Commission: Internal market reform

According to Article 26(2) TFEU, the internal market shall comprise an area without internal frontiers in which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured in accordance with the provisions of the Treaties.

Six weeks ago Viviane Reding, the commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, joined forces with Michel Barnier, the internal market commissioner, to launch their respective reform packages: European Commission sets out plans to strengthen the Single Market with measures to boost growth and enhance citizens’ rights; Brussels 27 October 2010, IP/10/1390.

In the blog post Improving cross-border rights for EU citizens (29 November 2010) we picked up the citizenship proposals, which have resulted in a long and continuing series of entries on my blogs.

However, now is the time to pick up the internal market thread and to present the various planned actions and proposals.

Support for internal market reform?

The joint press release made an effort to garner wider support for internal market reform:

With 20 million enterprises providing 175 million jobs, businesses play an essential role in finding our way back to growth. The Single Market Act will simplify life for SMEs, which make up more than 99% of Europe's businesses. But Europe's wealth and growth does not only rest on the shoulders of Europe's businesses. A good social system, quality education, competitive jobs and salaries are equally important. The Single Market Act will further strengthen Europe's highly competitive social market economy and will put people at the heart of the Single Market: as consumers, taxpayers, workers, investors, entrepreneurs, patients or pensioners.

The need for broader and more dedicated support was at the core of the report by Mario Monti: A new strategy for the single market: At the service of Europe's economy and society (9 May 2010).

Media viewpoints

In order to get some alternative viewpoints, here are three relatively short media introductions and reactions to the reform plans.

Before Barnier launched his package of proposals, the Europe columnist of The Economist wondered what to expect from a French Gaullist in the way of market reform: Charlemagne's notebook: Barnier's bust-up (25 October 2010)

Just after the presentation of the internal market package, EurActiv offered its readers the salient points: EurActiv: Commission lists 50 ideas to reignite Single Market (28 October 2010)

Nouvelles d'Europe presented a neat summary of background and proposals: Nouvelles d'Europe: Relancer le marché intérieur européen (15 November 2010)

Ralf Grahn

P.S. is an aggregator of blog entries and news about information politics in Europe, mainly of the libertarian kind in line with the Greens-EFA and the Pirate Party.

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