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29 October 2015

POLITICO: 6 takeaways on the EU single market plan

The European Commission makes another run at breaking down borders for businesses.

Here are six takeaways on the plan: 

1. Commission embraces the sharing economy. EU countries have a mixed record when it comes to dealing with (largely U.S.-based) upstarts that are trailblazing across Europe. [...]

The Commission has weighed in and now calls it the “collaborative economy.”

While the Commission wants “balanced development,” Vice President Jyrki Katainen said, “the single market must keep up with the times: innovative business models must be encouraged and welcomed.”[...]

2. Trade unions won’t be happy. Labor strikes in Brussels are de rigueur, and there’s going to be a groundswell. [...]

3. [...] More generally the Commission is putting a heavy emphasis on tools such as a “services passport” and “mutual recognition,” rather than new systems of fines and deadlines. They prefer to start with guidance and “compliance dialogues” before suggesting even specific reforms at the national level. If that still doesn’t work the Commission plans to shift into deeper structural investigations and “apply a smart enforcement strategy, including sectoral strategies.”

Only if all else fails will they consider taking governments to the EU courts. 

4. But expect a crack down on failures to implement existing laws. While the Commission is prepared to be lenient about how its new proposals are implemented, the Commission signaled it is fed up with governments not applying existing law despite having years to do so.  [...+

5. Startups make the legislative grade. [...] This time around, the Commission is launching a startup initiative. The effort will be as much about removing legislation that hurts startups as about writing new laws (such as potentially extending the so-called blue card migration directive to include entrepreneurs). Startups will also be helped to comply with existing laws. [...]

6. Cross-border commerce is hard to crack. What counts as a standard transaction in the U.S. is often blocked across the EU. [...] 

The Commission has been itching to do something about those limitations for a long time. There is a failed e-commerce action plan as proof. Now the onus is on the Commission to deliver.

Full article in POLITICO


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