Timely Services Package, but European Services e-Card needs work
The single market is one of Europe’s greatest assets, but businesses still experience barriers when providing services in another Member State.
Services account for over 70% of EU GDP and employment, yet cross-border services only make up 5% of EU GDP compared with about 20% for goods.
BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: "The growth potential for services must be unleashed. We especially need more competitive business services as these are crucial to support European manufacturing and industry. Actions to meet these objectives are welcome."
"We must ensure that the European Services e-Card really adds value for the construction and business services sectors. The card, which is rightly voluntary, needs to save time and costs, and make life easier for companies, otherwise this new approach will not work."
Regarding notification, BusinessEurope supports the proposal to improve the current procedure for services. Member States should always notify extra national requirements they impose on service providers. These can only be kept if proportionate and in line with EU legislation and single market principles. Now it is key to clearly define its scope to make it effective.
"We must also focus on removing regulatory barriers where we can. A better notification procedure will help to avoid new obstacles. The Commission must play a stronger and more pro-active role to protect the single market and this new procedure can help with this", BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer added.
On regulated professions, BusinessEurope supports setting up a proportionality test before adopting or reforming national regulations on professions as it can help identify and remove unnecessary regulatory barriers. At the same time, we recognise that there may be valid policy reasons to justify regulated professions, for instance for security or safety reasons.
Today the European Commission presented a “Services Package” following up to the October 2015 Single Market Strategy, containing proposals that aim to boost cross-border service provision and establishment abroad. The single market is one of Europe’s greatest assets, yet the free movement of services is underdeveloped.