Opinion Factsheet  

The Single Market Programme

Opinion Number: CDR 3765/2018
Rapporteur: FORDE Deirdre
Group: EPP (European People's Party)
Commission: ECON
Status: Adopted
Date: 05/12/2018
To set out local and regional government perspectives on the requirements and priorities for the support programme for improving the functioning of the internal market for the period 2021- 2027
To highlight how regional and local authorities can contribute to the implementation of measures for improving the functioning of the internal market
To reiterate previous political messages calling for conditions favourable to the competitiveness of SMEs, the promotion of entrepreneurship and the scaling-up of enterprises in the internal market

 welcomes the proposal to establish a new Programme for improving the functioning of the internal market;

 recognises that the internal market is one of the main successes of the EU but that it must continue to adapt in a rapidly changing environment characterised by digitalisation and globalisation. Notes that significant barriers to a properly functioning internal market remain with new obstacles emerging;

 welcomes the emphasis on strengthening support for the SME sector through this programme;

 recognises that there remains a serious problem with the enforcement of EU product rules with too many non-compliant products on the market. Suggests that there is an urgent need for clear branding and visibility and the avoidance of duplication in the plethora of instruments that exist or are proposed to ensure that citizens and businesses understand the applicable rules and their rights and obligations and also the channels that are open to them when they believe the rules are being infringed;

 supports the objective of improving the capability of national, regional and local authorities to better implement the current rules, but suggests that the complexity of procurement law can be a barrier to the greater participation of SMEs in public procurement;

 welcomes the commitment to continuous investment in the existing Internal Market Governance Tools; recommends much greater involvement by local and regional authorities in the implementation of these governance tools as a means of improving their functioning;

 requests further detail on the future role and ambition of the European Enterprise Network (EEN), given the challenges for SMEs and how it is proposed to adapt the network to meet these challenges in an age of digitalisation and globalisation so that it is better attuned to the needs of businesses and more aligned with supports provided by Member States;

 appreciates the recognition that citizens are particularly affected by the functioning of financial services markets and stresses the need for the Programme to effectively support consumer rights and awareness raising in this area.