Reducing prices, offering consumers more choice, creating competitive companies and making Europe attractive for investors - this is what the integrated EU market has achieved so far. With today's package, the commission wants to build on this by modernising the European single market still further.
Of the measures proposed, the commission has already adopted the telecoms reform package. Following on from this, today's proposals include:
- more rights for consumers – the commission calls for consumers to be able to switch bank accounts without a closing fee and group together to press complaints against companies
- a review of 23 manufacturing and services markets that are not realising their full potential for consumers and business
- greater opportunities for small businesses with the introduction of a small business act for Europe, helping cut red tape, increasing access to European programmes and promoting cross-border cooperation
- boosting researchers' mobility, thanks to a 'researcher passport'
- more information for consumers, businesses and workers – a one-stop advisory service will help them take advantage of their right to free movement and access to information. This will help the commission ensure widespread compliance with single market rules.
Not only will the reformed single market take advantage of globalisation, it will also help maintain high social and environmental standards. The new measures will clarify how EU rules apply to public and social services, reaffirm the need for high-quality public services and promote the production of green goods and services.
While the last economic forecast showed that European growth could slow in coming years, the single market reform is a chance to boost Europe's competitiveness, creating more growth and jobs. New priorities for the single market are expected to be agreed by EU leaders at the 2008 spring summit.
Details of the reform package
Europe wants well-informed consumers