Strasbourg round-up: Single market governance
Key rapporteurs Sergio Gaetano Cofferati, Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz and Matteo Salvini give us their views on parliament's adoption of the single market governance procedure.
Sergio Gaetano Cofferati is parliament's rappporteur on single market governance within the European semester 2014
The report on the single market governance is part of the package of three reports dealing with the EU semester 2014 and focuses, in particular, on the 'single market for growth and jobs' report accompanying the annual growth survey and dealing with the state of the integration of the single market. The report stresses the need to strengthen this governance by establishing, as a specific pillar of the EU semester, an annual single market governance cycle. Such a single market pillar should cover a clear set of priorities related to the real economy and key growth areas, identified by the commission as the services sector, the energy sector, the transport sector and the digital single market.
"We have dedicated particular attention to key sectors whose potential for economic recovery and convergence is relevant"
For this reason, the report encourages a focused organisation of the work of the competitiveness council so that it is explicitly devoted to feeding those priorities of relevance to the real economy into the European semester. The achievement of these priorities is essential to stimulate growth and bridge the present gap from reaching the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy, while exploiting the single market's full potential to ensure economic convergence between member states inside and outside the euro area, in core and peripheral areas of the EU.
We have dedicated particular attention to key sectors whose potential for economic recovery and convergence is relevant, together with a specific call for an integrated industrial policy based on investment, innovation and competitiveness, with a view to further complete and deepen the internal market while strengthening the protection of citizens' rights, in particular those of consumers and workers. To achieve such aims - purely quantitative statistics on the implementation of single market legislation are not sufficient - it is necessary to focus on the quality of how the legislation is implemented within the member states based on specific key indicators for sectors of the single market developed at European level.
Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz is parliament's EPP group shadow rapporteur on single market governance within the European semester 2014
The single market's governance must be improved if it is to fulfil the role of an EU engine to promote and facilitate growth, but also to serve as a benchmark for commitment to structural reform in the member states. This means reinstating political oversight at the highest level, eschewing any artificial distinctions between what takes place at EU level and what takes place at member state level, while developing more efficient tools to ensure the single market delivers for citizens and businesses as well.
"Too many problems encountered by businesses and citizens in the single market remain unresolved, or are resolved only at the expense of excessive time and cost"
Too many problems encountered by businesses and citizens in the single market remain unresolved, or are resolved only at the expense of excessive time and cost. For the single market to work in practice, businesses and citizens need to know their rights and opportunities and be able to make effective use of them. The priority of the single market should be the completion of the European single market, which can be reached through the adoption and implementation of measures boosting sustainable and inclusive growth.
To make single market law enforcement more effective, there is a need to further develop and strengthen existing mechanisms and achieve better synergies between them. Steps should be taken to ensure that problems can be effectively resolved at the national level and, where possible, via informal means. This creates more opportunities for consumers, establishes quality standards and stimulates more competitive prices. Fostering competitiveness, creating new opportunities in the digital single market are key areas for the revitalisation of this common economic area.
Matteo Salvini is parliament's EFD group shadow rapporteur on single market governance within the European semester 2014
In general, our position on the European semester is very negative and my political group believes that the European commission is responsible for many of the reasons behind the eurozone's missing growth. We also think that the targets given by the Europe 2020 strategy are neither feasible nor the correct solution.
Furthermore, our most important concern is the fact that through the European semester, member states' governments have lost further sovereignty by having accepted to submit their annual stability programmes to the commission.
"... Most member state breaches of internal market rules are caused by the complex implementation of directives not respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality"
If we take into account the internal market and consumer protection committee report on single market governance, our approach isn't so negative. For instance, we welcome the fact that my colleagues are beginning to think that infringement proceedings should be considered only as a last resort. Indeed, my opinion is that most member state breaches of internal market rules are caused by the complex implementation of directives not respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.
Therefore, even if this initiative report is a balanced text, we couldn't support it as part of a system we don't approve of. That is the reason we voted against it in parliament's plenary session.
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