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Brussels, 20 September 2013
Single Market Month online debates – frequently asked questions
What is the Single Market?
The Single Market is all about bringing down barriers and simplifying rules. The aim is to empower EU citizens – individuals, consumers and businesses – to make the most of direct access to 28 countries and 500 million people. Thanks to the Single Market, EU citizens benefit from lower prices, a wider choice of products and services, a larger presence on the world stage and more business opportunities.
What is Single Market Month?
Single Market Month, an initiative from the European Parliament, the European Commission and other European institutions, runs from 23 September until 23 October 2013. It will bring citizens and EU policy-makers together online to discuss progress made so far, the challenges that remain and ideas for the future.
In concrete terms, EU citizens are invited to:
Single Market Month is divided into four thematic weeks (Jobs, Social rights, Banks and E-commerce. The Month will close with a Euronews TV debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 23 October.
It follows the Single Market Forum of 2011 in Krakow1, and the 2012 Single Market Week2, both of which also examined the remaining gaps in the EU's Single Market and fed into the EU policy process, notably the elaboration of Single Market Acts I and II.
What policy areas will be covered and why?
Four themes will be covered, one for each week of the month of online debates:
1. Jobs: Working and doing business in Europe (23-25 September 2013)
The Single Market gives EU citizens the freedom to live and work in other EU countries. This debate could include anything from setting up a business, finding a job, and more.
2. Social rights: your social protection rights in the Single Market (30 September – 2 October 2013)
Being able to live and work in other EU countries also brings with it access to social protection rights in that country. This debate could include anything from pensions, to unemployment benefit, using public services such as healthcare and more.
3. Banks: Europe, banks and you (07-09 October 2013)
The Single Market provides EU citizens with unrivalled access to banks and financial services. This debate could include anything from mortgages, to access to bank accounts, a banking union and more.
4. E-commerce: Buying, selling and communicating online (14-16 October 2013)
For both consumers and companies alike, buying, selling and communicating online has transformed day-to-day life. This debate could include anything from buying and selling online, to VAT on online purchases, delivery issues, privacy on social media and more.
Each of these four themes deals with issues of particular concern to EU citizens and businesses in a time of high unemployment and recovery from a financial crisis; they also target the concrete ways in which people and businesses experience the Single Market.
Why should I participate?
This is an innovative and rare chance for any person or organisation to make their voice heard and to help shape EU policy. EU leaders, policy-makers and other experts are all keen to get input on how to improve the Single Market and they are ready to engage in an online dialogue with online participants, in any of the EU’s 24 official languages.
How can I take part?
On the web platform http://yourideasforeurope.eu , you can:
What about the closing debate?
A Euronews TV debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg will bring Single Market Month to a close on 23 October. You can follow the debate on yourideasforeurope.eu
Five of the most promising ideas to have emerged from the process will be chosen by an expert jury. The five people who submitted these ideas will be invited to participate in the 23 October Euronews TV debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg that will bring Single Market Month to a close.
What happens next?
Ideas submitted on the website may be used to help shape future EU policy on the Single Market with an impact on people's daily life.