Today the College of Commissioners held a comprehensive orientation debate on two related aspects of the Single Market - the Internal Market Strategy and the Labour Mobility Package.
The Internal Market Strategy is a targeted yet ambitious set of actions to boost the cross-border exchange of goods and services. The Labour Mobility Package sets out a balanced approach aimed at promoting labour mobility whilst minimising any unintended consequences.
These initiatives are two sides of the same coin: a deeper and fairer internal market. Both initiatives were announced in the Commission Work Programme for 2015.
The Commissioners stressed the progress made so far on the Investment Plan for Europe, the Energy Union, the Digital Single Market, the Capital Markets Union and the better regulation agenda. They agreed that further action was needed to unlock the full potential of the Single Market so that citizens, business and public authorities can access goods and services for the best quality, price or service; professionals can offer services across the EU quickly and conveniently; entrepreneurs can innovate and expand; new business models and services can flourish; and retailers find it easy to establish, do business and deliver their products across borders.
Today's discussions set out the priority areas for action to focus work on when preparing the Internal Market Strategy to be unveiled later this autumn.
President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Throughout all of my political life I have fought for our unique European economic and social model. I am convinced that Europe will succeed only when its economy is both strong and fair. I want Europe to build on the strength of our Single Market, in all its dimensions. Much has been achieved already – but we can and must do more. At the same time, I am taking concerns about potential cases of abuse and risks of social dumping very seriously. As I said in my Political Guidelines, in our Union, the same work at the same place should be remunerated in the same manner."
Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said: "The most important part of the Investment Plan for Europe is removing obstacles to investment by deepening the Internal Market. Today we discussed how to strengthen Europe’s economy, stimulate investments and restore confidence in Europe. We have defined the priority areas to make the Internal Market for goods and services function better. We want toboost investment, improve competitiveness andaccess to finance, ensure thefree flow of energy, strengthen our industrial base and reap the opportunities of thedigital economy."
Commissioner for the Internal Market, Elżbieta Bieńkowska said: "Today we have brought the debate back to the basics: What kind of Single Market do we want to see? And we agreed: A Single Market where professionals can offer services across the EU quickly and conveniently. Where consumers are free to shop around for the best quality, price or service. Where entrepreneurs can innovate and expand, where new business models and services can flourish. Where retailers find it easy to establish, do business and deliver their products across borders. Today we set out a comprehensive and pragmatic vision, which we will flesh out in the Internal Market Strategy later this autumn."
The Single Market is one of Europe’s major achievements and its best asset in times of increasing globalisation. It is an engine for building a stronger and fairer EU economy. By allowing people, goods, services and capital to move more freely it opens up new opportunities for citizens, workers, businesses and consumers - creating the jobs and growth Europe so urgently needs.