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Pressure equipment, motor vehicles, product safety and market surveillance in Plenary

The legislatives reports on making available on the market of pressure equipment and on the correct application of the law on customs and agricultural matters were voted on during Parliament’s plenary sitting of 15.04.14. Parliament also discussed and voted on the reports regarding consumer product safety and market surveillance of products. The report on simplifying the transfer of motor vehicles was voted on 16.04.14.

 
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Exchange of views with Commissioner Michel Barnier - 7 April

Commissioner introduced the exchange of views by thanking the Chairman and Members for their constructive spirit in helping reconcile citizens, consumers and SMEs, with the Single Market. Such a constructive approach enabled democratic discussion on every single initiative put forward during the last years, with IMCO often being in the lead of the game, stated the Commissioner, adding that it also helped reaching out to people through numerous public consultations and annual cross-Europe discussions on the Single Market.
 
Summarising the main achievements of the past legislature and indicating the remaining challenges for the upcoming legislative term, he made reference to more than 70 initiatives put forward in the framework of the SMA I and II, a large majority of which have been examined by IMCO as the lead or opinion-giving committee.
 
Commissioner Barnier referred to 4 main areas: the completed reform of the public procurement (Concessions, e-invoicing …), the services sector (implementation of the Services Directive, revision of the Professional Qualifications Directive …), support of European enterprises (in particular SMEs) and the adaptation of the Single Market to todays' digital challenges (parcel delivery, on-line gambling …).
 
Ensuring proper transposition, implementation and enforcement of EU rules in the Member States, including by strictly applying zero-tolerance for non-transposition, will be among the most important challenges for the future, underlined the Commissioner. This applies in particular to new rules on Public Procurement and Professional Qualification, to the implementation of the Services Directive, as well as to strengthening the protection of consumers in financial and digital markets. IMCO will continue to have an important role to play in this, in particular within the European Semester process, concluded Commissioner Barnier, adding that, thanks to the IMCO work during the past legislature, the European Semester - which was an accounting and budgetary exercise at the beginning - has become an important economic exercise.
 

 
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Exchange of views with Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta - 7 April

The Commissioner welcomed this opportunity to take stock of what the Commission and EP have achieved together with the Council in his areas of competence.
 
Particular attention was given to the main legislative files on Customs such as the recast of the Union Customs Code (UCC) which now provides a solid basis for implementing a modern, pan-European electronic customs environment. The adoption of the Customs 2020 programme was also mentioned as a key EU instrument to support the customs modernisation is in place. The new Regulation on Customs enforcement of IPRs was cited as a crucial instrument in stopping fake goods from reaching the EU market by clarifying and simplifying procedures and by ensuring stronger protection for rights holders and of customers. On product safety, the Commissioner welcomed the EP's support to the Commission's expert group on import controls and compliance. On the new Commission's proposal for a directive on customs infringements and sanctions he thanked the two co-rapporteurs for their work on a Resolution and their support to the proposal. On anti-fraud, Commissioner Šemeta commended the very efficient work on the IMCO report on the Commission's proposal to enhance European anti-fraud capacity by amending the Regulation 515/97 on mutual assistance.

 
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Budget 2015 on 7 April PM

Members unanimously endorsed the two draft letters on IMCO priorities for the 2015 budget and on the IMCO preliminary proposals for Preparatory Actions (PAs)/ Pilot Projects (PPs). In particular, Members recalled that the internal market is a key policy area for economic growth and an essential tool to get the EU out of the crisis. Concerning IMCO PPs and PAs, they acknowledged the importance of financing the "Single Market Forum" and called for an extension of its PA to the year 2015. On the "Your Europe Travel Application for mobile Devices" PP, IMCO urged the Commission to up-date the EP on the level of its implementation and reminds the importance of the PP that should offer information to EU citizens on their consumer rights and cross-border issues and provide travellers with the suitable help when they encounter problems while they are abroad and have limited access to advice services. The need to secure adequate financing for the COSME programme in 2015 in order to specifically take into account the difficulties encountered by SMEs was also underlined in the letter to the BUDG committee together with the need to allocate adequate funds to SOLVIT so that consumers and businesses become aware of its existence and can benefit from its services.

   
 
Presentation and responsibilities
 
Committee responsible for:
 
1.    coordination at Community level of national legislation in the sphere of the internal market and for the customs union, in particular:

(a)    the free movement of goods including the harmonisation of technical standards,
(b)    the right of establishment,
(c)    the freedom to provide services except in the financial and postal sectors;

2.    measures aiming at the identification and removal of potential obstacles to the functioning of the internal market;
 
3.    the promotion and protection of the economic interests of consumers, except for public health and food safety issues, in the context of the establishment of the internal market.
 
 
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Welcome words
 
 

The Single Market and its free movement of people, goods and services is one of the absolute foundations of the EU. It has provided prosperity and growth, jobs, mobility and freedom of choice to Europe's citizens and businesses.
 
In the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer protection, we believe that citizens must be placed at the heart of the Single Market. It is our mission to ensure that people can establish themselves anywhere within the EU, to work, study or set up a business.
 
We want to make sure that consumers know their rights and feel assured that they are safe and protected when buying products in the EU, whether in their local shop or when shopping online across borders.
 
We aim to make clear rules for businesses, and to make life simpler for small firms while expanding their market opportunities in making, selling or providing services.
 
The Internal Market Committee initiated the Single Market Act to give a fresh impetus to the Single Market. We remain committed to deliver on its proposals as quickly as possible. Only a well functioning Single European Market can ensure our prosperity and competitiveness in the world in the decades to come.
 
Malcolm Harbour CBE
Chair of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection