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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 20 September 2013

Single Market Month to kick off with debates on jobs

Monday 23 September sees the first in a series of four online debates on the Single Market as part of the Single Market Month which will run from 23 September until 23 October 2013. Against the backdrop of the 2013 European Year of Citizens, Single Market Month – an initiative of the European Parliament and the Commission - will be an opportunity for citizens and stakeholders to make proposals for the future of the EU and to debate those proposals live online with other citizens, stakeholders, officials and leaders, and experts from all over Europe. The Commission is taking to the web in order to involve citizens and civil society groups in its policy agenda. Starting 23 September with a live online VIP chat with Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier at 11.00 CET, the online forum offers stakeholders a unique and immediate line of communication to Brussels policymakers. The forum will host debates on four themes: Jobs, Social Rights, Banks, and e-Commerce in all 24 EU languages.

The first debates will run from Monday to Wednesday (23-25 September) on 111 policy proposals from 17 countries (with more continuing to come in) on issues surrounding jobs: how to create more jobs; how to set up a business; how to improve the quality of available jobs. Policy ideas submitted range from a suggestion to introduce a professional mobility card for nurses to how to create job opportunities for people with disabilities. This takes place at a time when the unemployment rate in the EU stands at nearly 12% and is over 26% in certain countries. While there is no easy solution, the European Single Market offers workers the opportunity to go across borders to look for work or offer their services as a professional in any of the 28 Member States of the EU. During the coming days of debate, people, organisations and businesses on the ground will have the opportunity to highlight what obstacles remain, and put forward their further suggestions for actions at European level.

Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Michel Barnier said: "Single Market Month aims to bridge the gap between those who should benefit from policy - civil society, citizens and businesses - and those who draft and decide on it. We welcome a free and open exchange on proposals that will address remaining gaps in the Single Market. A Single Market which works better for citizens, consumers and SMEs is essential to create more jobs and improve competitiveness. This is an innovative project that takes advantage of the ability of the internet to connect people across a diverse and great continent."


Single Market Month will take place online on over the course of four successive weeks, with a different policy theme explored each week:

  1. 23-25 September, on jobs: How to find work, set up a business, or get qualifications recognised in Europe?

  2. 30 September-2 October, on social rights: What social protection rights in the EU Single Market, in terms of pensions, healthcare, public services…?

  3. 7-9 October, on banks: What more could be done to protect deposits, prevent another financial crisis, and make sure that banks invest in the real economy to foster growth?

  4. 14-16 October, on e-commerce: How easy is it to sell products online, or buy them and get them delivered across borders as a customer? How protected are the data people share on social networking sites?

Single Market Month provides a unique opportunity for Europe's "netizens" to comment on, challenge, and refine new policy ideas which have been submitted online . It offers participants a number of ways to interact with policy makers. They can:

  1. vote and comment on the policy submissions of individuals, organisations and businesses

  2. question and debate with EU experts, MEPs, and other EU and national personalities through live video chats.

Five participants will be invited to a final debate with Commissioner Barnier on Euronews on 23 October at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Ideas can still be submitted on the online platform. Over 300 ideas across all topics have already been submitted by stakeholders and individuals. These ideas can already be voted on, and will be opened for debate on 23 September for the ideas on jobs, 30 September for the ideas on social rights, 7 October for the ideas on banks, and 14 October for the ideas on e-commerce.

Independent moderators will summarise the results of these debates – the ideas that participants think can change Europe. They will also be written into a final report that will be published and may feed into the EU's work of tomorrow.

See also MEMO/13/804

More information

Contacts :

Chantal Hughes (+32 2 296 44 50)

Audrey Augier (+32 2 297 16 07)

Carmel Dunne (+32 2 299 88 94)

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