Monday 19 March 2012

Single Market Act COM(2011) 206

The article Public consultation on EU Single Market Act (SMA) brought us close to the final version of the Commission's reform programme 2011-2012. Archimedes would have been happy to see most of the 22 language versions of the communication employ the concept ”lever” in some form. Heureka!, here is the English version (pdf):

Single Market Act: Twelve levers to boost growth and strengthen confidence - "Working together to create new growth”; Brussels, 13.4.2011 COM(2011) 206 final (26 pages)

Single Market Act COM(2011) 206

Here, as a reminder, are the twelve levers, each with a key action (source: Annex 1, page 24-25):

Access to finance for SMEs (4th quarter 2011)

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

Mobility for citizens (4th quarter 2011)

2 Legislation modernising the system for recognising professional qualifications

Intellectual property rights (2nd quarter 2011)

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

Consumer empowerment (4th quarter 2011)

4 Legislation on Alternative Dispute Resolution. This action will also include an electronic commerce dimension.

Services (2nd quarter 2011)

5 Revision of the legislation on the European standardisation system, to extend it to services and make standardisation procedures more effective, efficient and inclusive

Networks (4th quarter 2011, 3rd quarter 2011)

6 Energy and transport infrastructure legislation serving to identify and roll out strategic projects of European interest and to ensure interoperability and intermodality

Digital single market (1st quarter 2012)

7 Legislation ensuring the mutual recognition of electronic identification and authentication across the EU and revision of the Directive on Electronic Signatures

Social entrepreneurship (4th quarter 2011)

8 Legislation setting up a European framework for social investment funds

Taxation (2nd quarter 2011)

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

Social cohesion (4th quarter 2011)

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

Business environment (2nd quarter 2011)

11 Simplification of the Accounting Directives

Public procurement (4th quarter 2011)

12 Revised and modernised public procurement legislative framework

Success criteria

The Commission saw four conditions as necessary for the success of the single market programme (page 20):

For the proposed actions to produce the effects expected in terms of growth and jobs, the conditions for their development and efficient implementation must be met. There are four such conditions: (1) a better dialogue with civil society as a whole; (2) a close partnership with the various market participants; (3) efficient provision of information for citizens and enterprises; and (4) closer monitoring of the application of single-market legislation.

Ralf Grahn
public speaker on EU affairs

P.S. The multilingual already aggregates the posts from 941 Euroblogs. They represent an important part of the emerging European online public sphere, discussion across national and linguistic borders. One of the most promising fresh entrants is the LSE European Politics and Policy EUROPP blog, where Ronny Patz recently wrote about the EU blogosphere and called for more specialists and academics to widen the debate closer to real life.

Among the Euroblogs on you find my current blog trio, Grahnlaw (recently ranked fourth among political blogs in Finland), the Nordic Grahnblawg (written in Swedish) and Eurooppaoikeus (meaning European Law, in Finnish). I write and speak about democracy and openness in the European Union, but increasingly about the challenges of growth (EU2020) and the (digital) single market in the making.

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