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Strategy for the internal market

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To define a strategy for the internal market for the period 2000-2004, based on four major objectives: to improve the quality of life of citizens, to enhance the efficiency of Community product and capital markets, to improve the business environment and to exploit the achievements of the internal market in a changing world.

ACT

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 24 November 1999 - Strategy for Europe's Internal Market [COM(1999) 624 final - Not published in the Official Journal].

SUMMARY

This Communication sets out the Commission's strategy for the Union's internal market for the next five years. It follows on from the 1997 single market action plan.

This strategy proposes four major strategic objectives:

  • to improve the quality of life of citizensto enhance the efficiency of Community product and capital marketsto improve the business environmentto exploit the achievements of the internal market in a changing world.

In order to attain these objectives, target actions are planned; these will run for a period of 18 months. Initially there will be 100 target actions (of which 30 will be new initiatives). These actions will be subject to review, beginning in April 2000 and continuing on an annual basis.

Strategic objective 1: To improve quality of life (Citizens)

The completion of the internal market must take into account citizens' demands in terms of quality of life and sustainable development. Three operational objectives have been set:

Citizens 1: To ensure that the internal market contributes to sustainable and balanced development.
To achieve this objective, the following target actions are planned:

Legislative actions
- Commission proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive amending the insolvency Directive (80/987/EEC)

June 2000
- Adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of a Directive on the promotion of electricity from renewable energy sources in the internal market in electricity
- Adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of a Directive on information and consultation of workers in the EC
December 2000
Non-legislative actions
- Interpretative Commission Communication to clarify how environmental considerations may be taken into account in public procurement

June 2000
- Second Cohesion Report examining the effects of the internal market on cohesion
- Commission Recommendation on how to integrate environmental considerations into financial reporting
December 2000
- Publication of a guide to the application of Articles 28-30 of the Treaty to national environmental measures
- Incorporation of environmental considerations into the activities of the European standards bodies
June 2001

Citizens 2: To enhance citizens' health and safety and promote their economic interests.
To achieve this objective, the following target actions are planned:

Legislative actions
- Implementation of the financial services action plan (see also "Markets 2")
- Adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of a proposal in 2004 to repeal the Directive on general product safety (92/59/EEC)
- Adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of a Directive on the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products
- Commission proposal to amend the Directive on door-to-door sales (85/577/EEC)
- Commission proposal to amend the Directive on misleading advertising (84/450/EEC)
- Commission proposal to amend the consumer credit Directive (87/102/EEC, as amended by Directive 90/88/EEC)

June 2000
Non-legislative actions
- Commission Communication on commercial communications and sales promotion (see also "Business 4")
Commission White Paper on food safety
- Commission Communication on the safety of services
- Commission Communication on overindebtedness
- Commission Recommendation on horizontal consumer aspects of services of general interest
- Commission Communication on passenger protection in air transport
- Commission Communication on legal aid in civil matters
- Commission Communication on priorities in European road safety

June 2000
- Commission Green Paper on access to justice and redress for consumers
- Commission Recommendations on "green claims" (environmental promotion)
- Commission Communication on increasing administrative cooperation in health and consumer protection
December 2000
- Implementation of a Community safety system in the air transport sectorJune 2001

Citizens 3: To reinforce and promote the full use of the rights of citizens.
To achieve this objective, the following target actions are planned:

Legislative actions
- Adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of a proposal to extend the scope of Regulation 1408/71 on the coordination of social security schemes to include non-EU nationals
- Adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of a proposal to replace Regulation 1408/71 on the coordination of social security schemes with a new simplified and modernised Regulation
- Commission proposal for a Regulation on a common format for the EU passport

June 2000
- Commission proposal to amend the Directive on the second general system for the recognition of professional qualifications (92/51/EEC)December 2000
- Commission proposal for a Regulation to revise the Directives on the right of residence (90/364, 90/365, 93/96, 68/360)
- Commission proposal for a Regulation on a common format for residence permits
June 2001
Non-legislative actions
- "Dialogue with Citizens and Business":
- Promotion campaign to be launched in January 2000
- Publication of a guide on exercising rights in the single market
- Commission Communication on the effects of the "Dialogue"
- Launch of a new "Citizens" website on rights and opportunities in the internal market
Publication of a guide to data protection

June 2000
- Commission Communication on the future of recognition of professional qualifications
- Provision of a complete "self-service" package for jobseekers and employers on the EURES website, with a personalised service from Euro-advisers
- Provision of a complete and updated database for citizens on living and working conditions and on labour markets in the Member States
December 2000

Strategic objective 2: To enhance the efficiency of Community product and capital markets (Markets)

In order to enhance the competitiveness of its economy, the EU needs competitive goods, services and capital markets. The economic reform process agreed by the Cardiff European Council will play a part in this.

Markets 1: To encourage economic reform in the interests of market efficiency.
To achieve this objective, the following target actions are planned:

- Annual adoption of the Commission Communication on economic reform - Report on the functioning of product and capital markets in the EU (Cardiff Report)
- Annual implementation by the Member States of country-specific recommendations on the reform of product and capital markets contained in the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines

Markets 2: To ensure financial services deliver their full potential.
To achieve this objective, the following target actions are planned:

- Implementation of financial services action plan
A number of actions in the action plan may help to meet other operational objectives, such as those relating to consumer interests, the digital age, the multilateral trading system, company law and the fight against criminal activities in the internal market

Markets 3: To maximise the benefits to the internal market of the digital age.
To achieve this objective, the following target actions are planned:

Legislative actions
- Adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of a Directive on electronic commerce
- Adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of a Directive on copyright and related rights in the information society
- Commission proposal for a Directive on the patentability of software

June 2000
- Commission proposal to guarantee compatibility of the current VAT system with electronic commerceDecember 2000
Non-legislative actions
- Commission Communication concerning rules on access to cable for broadcasting and information society services
- Action to support initiatives for on-line out of court redress

June 2000
- Establishing a dialogue with industry and consumers as part of the development of the integrated framework for electronic commerceJune 2001

Markets 4: To encourage creativity and innovation by adequately protecting industrial and intellectual property rights.
To achieve this objective, the following target actions are planned:

Legislative actions
- Commission proposal for a Regulation on the Community patent
- Adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of a Directive on utility models- Adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of a Directive on artists' resale rights

June 2000
- Adoption by the Council of the proposal for a Regulation on Community designsJune 2001
Non-legislative actions
- Commission Communication as a follow-up to the Green Paper on counterfeiting and piracy

June 2000

Markets 5: To secure effective market-opening legislation in the utilities and transport sectors, whilst preserving universal services.
To achieve this objective, the following target actions are planned:

Legislative actions
- Follow-up to review of existing telecommunications legislation: Commission proposal for a framework Directive and four specific Directives
- Adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of a Directive establishing rules on airport charges
- Adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of Directives to amend Directives 91/440/EEC and 95/18/EC and to replace Directive 95/19/EC (rail revitalisation package)

June 2000
- Commission proposal for a European Parliament and Council Regulation amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 1191/69 (public service in inland transport)December 2000
- Adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of a Regulation updating the TENs guidelinesJune 2001
Non-legislative actions
- Due transposition and full implementation of Directive 97/67/EC on the liberalisation of postal services
- Due transposition and full implementation of Directive 96/92/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity.

June 2000
- Due transposition of Directive 98/30/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas
- Interpretative Commission Communication on concessions
December 2000
- Sixth Commission report on the implementation of telecommunications rules
- Implementation of the Communication on the creation of a single European airspace
June 2001

Strategic objective 3: To improve the business environment (Business)

The removal of barriers to the free movement of goods, services, capital and people will only have the desired effect if the business environment is favourable. Five operational objectives have been set:

Business 1: A shared determination of the Commission and Member States to ensure that market integration is not undermined by anti-competitive practices.
To achieve this objective, the following target actions are planned:

Legislative actions
- Commission proposal to modernise the rules on competition for the application of Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty
- Adoption by the Commission of block exemption Regulations for state aid to SMEs, for training aid and on the de minimis rule
- Commission proposal for a European Parliament and Council Regulation amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 1107/70 (state aid for inland transport)
December 2000
Non-legislative actions
- Adoption by the Commission of guidelines to the block exemption Regulation for vertical restraints

June 2000
- Review of the Commission's policy on horizontal cooperation agreements
- Follow-up to the Commission Communication on the application of state aid rules to measures relating to direct taxation of companies
December 2000

Business 2: To eliminate tax barriers to the internal market and unfair tax competition.
To achieve this objective, the following target actions are planned:

Legislative actions
- Adoption by the Council of the Directive on taxation of savings
- Adoption by the Council of the Directive on interest and royalties
- Adoption by the Council of the Directive on energy taxation

June 2000
- Commission proposal for consolidation of the sixth VAT Directive (77/388/EEC)
- Commission proposal for modernisation of VAT legislation in the internal market
- Commission proposal for a comprehensive package of measures to modernise the system of excise duties in the internal market
- Commission proposal for a comprehensive package of measures against tax provisions which restrict taxpayers' access to the internal market
December 2000
Non-legislative actions
- Code of conduct on unfair tax competition: agreement on withdrawal or amendment of tax measures which are harmful according to the code
- Commission report on company taxation in the EU

June 2000
- Commission report to the Council on the system of excise duties in the internal market on mineral oils, tobacco and other goodsDecember 2000

Business 3: To improve the effectiveness of the legal framework.
To achieve this objective, the following target actions are planned:

Non-legislative actions
- Launch of pilot project offering Community support to national initiatives in the field of administrative cooperation

June 2000
- All Member States to reduce their transposition deficit to less than 1.5 %December 2000
- Commission Communication on a comprehensive EU strategy on administrative cooperation to promote effective application of rulesJune 2001

Business 4: To eliminate the remaining obstacles to cross-border trade.
To achieve this objective, the following target actions are planned:

Legislative actions
- Commission proposal for a legislative package on public procurement

June 2000
- Adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of Directives on the EC service provision cardDecember 2000
Non-legislative actions
- Commission Communication on commercial communications and sales promotion
- Commission Communication on patent agents
- Implementation of specific measures contained in the Council Resolution on standardisation

June 2000
- Follow-up measures to Green Paper on product liability (85/374/EEC)
- Commission report evaluating the implementation of policy on products conformity marking
- Agreement on 50 harmonised standards relating to construction products
December 2000
- Implementation by Member States and the Commission of specific measures contained in the Commission Communication and the Council Resolution on mutual recognition
- Assessment of the results of the forthcoming study on remaining barriers to trade in business services
June 2001

Business 5: To reduce the regulatory burden on business, particularly SMEs, and help business take advantage of internal market opportunities.
To achieve this objective, the following target actions are planned:

Legislative actions
- Adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of a Directive to combat late payments in commercial transactions

June 2000
- Commission proposal to amend the first and second Directives on company law (post-SLIM) (68/151/EEC and 77/91/EEC)December 2000
- Adoption by the Council of the proposed Regulation and Directive on the European company statute and associated proposals (Statute for a European Association, Statute for a European Cooperative Society, Statute for a European mutual society)June 2001
Non-legislative actions
- Evaluation of projects to promote better regulation (SLIM and the Business Test Panel)
- Implementation of BEST action plan
- Dialogue with Citizens and Business:
- Commission Communication on access for SMEs to public procurement markets

June 2000
- First report on the quantitative results of the Business Feedback MechanismDecember 2000

Strategic objective 4: To exploit the achievements of the internal market in a changing world (External)

The internal market must be considered in the context of the global economy. Furthermore, the future enlargement of the Union also represents a challenge to the operation of existing rules. Two operational objectives have been set:

External 1: To contribute to the shaping of the multilateral trading system for the next century.
To achieve this objective, the following target actions are planned:

Legislative actions
Commission to complete negotiations with the Council of Europe on:
- a draft Recommendation on the protection of personal data collected and processed for insurance purposes
- a draft protocol concerning Community accession to Council of Europe Convention 108 on the processing of personal data
- an additional protocol to Convention 108 in accordance with Directive 95/46/EC
- Commission Decision, based on Article 25(6) of Directive 95/46/EC, assessing the adequacy of the level of data protection in some third countries

June 2000
- Adoption of a Council Decision on ratification of the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) on behalf of the ECDecember 2000
Non-legislative actions
- Continuing work to set minimum standards at international level, notably within the Word Intellectual Property Organisation, on protection of audiovisual performances, broadcasters' rights and non-original databases

June 2000
- Identification and promotion of instruments developed in the internal market which could be applied in the context of multilateral trade agreements, such as a transparent regulatory environment with procedures and principles which aim to harmonise standardsDecember 2000

External 2: To ensure that the internal market contributes to a successful enlargement of the Community.
To achieve this objective, the following target actions are planned:

Non-legislative actions
- Joint meeting of the Internal Market Advisory Committee and representatives of the applicant countries
- Joint meeting of heads of the coordination centres and representatives of the applicant countries
- Collaboration with the applicant countries with a view to establishing a coordination centre in each one

December 2000
- More targeted use of pre-accession strategies, such as intensification of twinning arrangements on internal market issuesJune 2001

RELATED ACTS

Commission Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - 2000 Review of the Internal Market Strategy [COM(2000) 257 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
This Communication provides a first review of the actions targeted by the Internal Market Strategy and identified in the original document. It also aims to carry forward the objective set at the Lisbon European Council, i.e. to make the EU the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. This calls for major structural improvements which depend, in particular, on developing the internal market.
The Communication therefore focuses on actions which make a significant and immediate impact on improving the working of the internal market. These priority actions relate in particular to enhancing the efficiency of Community product and capital markets, improving the quality of life of citizens and exploiting the achievements of the internal market in a changing world.
In addition to providing an initial review of the target actions (some of which have a deadline of 30 June 2000), this Communication proposes shifting the half-yearly deadlines from June and December respectively so as to align them with the timing of the annual review.

Last updated: 01.10.2007

See also

The complete text of the Communication is available on the website of the: Directorate-General for the Internal Market.

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