MEPs expect initiative for growth
By Sophie Mosca | Friday 01 June 2012
To allow the full deployment of the potential of the single market, the members of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market (IMCO) are calling for a specific policy initiative for growth. By 20 votes in favour and 13 abstentions, they adopted a resolution on the next steps of the Single Market Act (SMA). The resolution stresses how important it is to put the finishing touches, so to speak, to this vast European market, which is a key factor for economic growth and employment in the EU, and opens up new paths and possibilities to define and develop new priorities.
The draft resolution states that the reinforced governance of the single market must be a priority in the EU’s growth agenda. MEPs reaffirm the need for stronger and higher-level political commitment with regard to the implementation of the SMA. They welcome the European Council’s efforts to this end and the governance check-up exercise launched by the Commission in 2011. This provides an integrated view of the tools used in the governance cycle of the single market (road map, SOLVIT report, etc). MEPs urge the Commission to continue to evaluate the level of integration on a yearly basis.
They recall that the 12 key actions of the SMA identified on 13 April 2011 (see
Europolitics4183 and box) must be adopted, preferably by the end of 2012 – in particular in the digital field. They urge the member states to transpose the legislative texts of these priorities, if possible well ahead of the transposition deadlines.
MEPs deliver a vibrant panegyric in favour of the SMA, which is the result of an interinstitutional consensus and a broad consultation with stakeholders, and call for more involvement on the part of the social partners and civil society in order to restore confidence in the single market and to ensure its regeneration.
They suggest a few options to decide on the new priorities of the SMA. Firstly, they should consolidate the conditions of development of the industry and promote research and innovation. They should aim to reinforce the external dimension of the single market, namely in the field of international standardisation and by developing synergies between the internal market and trade. MEPs also feel that it is crucial that the protection of intellectual property rights be guaranteed.
In the transport sector, MEPs aim to further promote the deployment a single European sky and the opening of the markets of national railway passenger transport.
In terms of the rights of enterprises, MEPs want the directive on the transfer of the HQ of enterprises to become one of the priorities. They want to prioritise a text on the status of European mutual associations, and another on groups of enterprises.
Moreover, MEPs suggest focusing on the financial instruments that are already available to support sustainable growth, such as project bonds for long-term investments. They also suggest issuing a communication highlighting the contribution of the policies for innovation, competition and growth.
The importance of the infrastructure of a solid financial market and the need for action to resolve the crises are also highlighted.
With regard to social rights, MEPs reiterate their call on the Commission to draft a road map outlining the obstacles met by EU workers in the exercise of their right to free movement, and a plan of action to lift these obstacles.
Similarly, they consider it crucial to work at guaranteeing the transferability of social security schemes.
The Single Market Act, adopted on 27 October 2010, aims, through 50 measures by 13 commissioners coordinated by Michel Barnier (internal market) to modernise the single market, which is still too fragmented. Twelve initial areas have been identified to stimulate the economy or protect consumers. They cover a broad range of sectors: support for SMEs, worker mobility, patents, public contracts, social entrepreneurship, taxation, etc.