Opinion Factsheet  

Programul privind piața unică

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Opinion Number: CDR 3765/2018
Rapporteur: FORDE Deirdre
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
The purpose of the Commission's proposal for a Regulation is to establish a new programme for improving the functioning of the internal market for the period 2021-2027. The new programme brings together activities financed under five previous programmes in the areas of competitiveness of enterprises (COSME), consumer protection, customers and end-users in financial services and policy making in financial services and as regards the food chain, plus activities financed up to now under a number of different Commission budget lines (implementation and development of internal market for financial services, company law, internal market governance tools, support to standardisation activities, operation and development of the internal market for goods and services, customs and tax policy development). These activities are united by shared objectives to regulate, implement, facilitate, enforce and protect various activities and actors within the internal market, and to ensure an internal market that continues to function properly. The proposed Programme provides for continuity of the various previous actions while streamlining and exploiting synergies between them. In addition, the Programme establishes the financial framework for providing high-quality European statistics to underpin the design, monitoring and evaluation of all EU policies, which replaces the European Statistical Programme.

The CoR opinion welcomes the proposal, particularly the emphasis on strengthening support for the SME sector through this programme. It recognises that there remains a serious problem with the enforcement of EU product rules with too many non-compliant products on the market and 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. It 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. The opinion welcomes the commitment to continuous investment in the existing Internal Market Governance Tools and recommends much greater involvement by local and regional authorities in the implementation of these governance tools as a means of improving their functioning. It 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. The opinion also includes a number of points on consumer-related issues; in particular, it expresses appreciation for 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.

The consultations for the preparation of the opinion, as well as the opinion itself, contributed to the policy debate regarding the priorities of the Single Market Programme as they concern the local and regional level.

The CoR's recommendations on key issues that concern the regional and local level – including SMEs, public procurement and the role of local and regional authorities in implementing internal market governance tools – are reflected in the text of the SMP as it went into the trilogue phase.

The views of the CoR set out in the opinion are, in general convergent, with those of the draft IMCO report (rapporteur: Nicola Danti MEP). The COR opinion includes 12 legislative amendments. The IMCO amendments on these points are broadly similar.

Institutional timeline:
Commission proposal: 7 June 2018
CoR: Opinion adopted by ECON on 23 October 2018; Plenary adoption on 5 December 2018
European Parliament: First reading position adopted as non-agreed on 12 February 2019
Trilogue phase: Common understanding – FI Presidency; Final trilogue phase – HR Presidency
Formal adoption forecast for second semester of 2020 (DE Presidency)
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



 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.