In the Council's view, what progress in strengthening the single market has the UK Presidency made to date?
The internal market, competitiveness and the Lisbon agenda have been priorities for the Council under the United Kingdom Presidency. We have made good progress both on horizontal issues such as better regulation and on individual dossiers.
In the area of better regulation the Parliament, the Council and the Commission recently reached agreement on a common approach to the use of impact assessments. This represents an important step towards a more effective legal framework. Simplification of existing legislation has been another important topic in the Council under the UK Presidency, with the aim of speeding up ongoing work both in the Union and at national level to improve the functioning of the internal market.
As regards specific dossiers which have received particular attention under the UK Presidency, we secured political agreement on the REACH proposal on chemicals yesterday. Technical work on clarifying the provisions of the draft Directive on Services has advanced well and a number of first-reading agreements between Council and Parliament have been reached in key sectors such as company law and technical harmonisation in particular agreement on the machinery directive and 4th/7th and 8th company law directives.