Fifty proposals for improving the Single European Market

On October 28, the Commission unveiled its plans to strengthen the Single Market with measures to boost growth and enhance citizens' rights. Fifty proposals to make the Single Market work better have been presented, to be put in place by 2012. CEPI welcomes this initiative and values the attention given to supporting SMEs and facilitating cross border mobility of service providers.

The Single Market of the European Union is a common area where goods, services, capital and persons can circulate freely. The Single Market also ensures that European citizens are free to live, work, study and do business where they want in the EU, so representing the core of the cooperation between the Member States of the Union.

While Europeans can be proud of these achievements, businesses and citizens also know that hurdles still exist when they exercise their rights. The European Commission sets out a series of concrete solutions in two reports to boost the Single Market. In the EU Citizenship report, the Commission proposes measures to make peoples' lives easier when they exercise their rights to get married, buy a house or register a car in another EU country. To boost growth, competitiveness and social progress, the Single Market Act calls for action to make the lives of all market participants - companies, consumers and workers - easier.

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 represent more than 99% of Europe's businesses. The Commission will, for example, reduce costs for SMEs by simplifying accounting rules and improving their access to public procurenment contracts. The Commission will also look at introducing a common tax base for businesses operating cross border, leading to further cost savings.

Today, 4600 professions are regulated differently in the Member States. A thorough revision of the professional qualifications directive is therefore overdue. The Commission believes that the introduction of professional I.D. cards or "cartes professionnelles" would reduce the remaining red tape.

CEPI closely follows the revision of the Directive on professional qualifications and will issue a special report for its members on this topic in November.

To take the discussion forward, the Commission is launching a European-wide debate with all interested stakeholders on the Single Market Act. In the future, the Commission will further stregthen its consultation and dialogue with civil society. In particular, it will open expert groups to represent consumer organisations, trade unions, businesses and local authorities.

More information on the Single Market Act is available at: 
The Citizenship Report is available at: