Full text 
Procedure : 2011/2900(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0576/2011

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 30/11/2011 - 18
CRE 30/11/2011 - 18

Votes :

PV 01/12/2011 - 6.25
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
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Thursday, 1 December 2011 - Brussels
Single market forum

European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the Outcome of the Single Market Forum

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Single Market Forum, held in Krakow (Poland) on 3-4 October 2011,

–  having regard to the ‘Krakow declaration’ of the first Single Market Forum,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 13 April 2011 entitled ‘Single Market Act. Twelve levers to boost growth and strengthen confidence ’Working together to create new growth'' (COM(2011)0206),

–  having regard to the Commission Staff Working Paper of 16 August 2011 entitled ‘The Single Market through the lens of the people: A snapshot of citizens’ and businesses' 20 main concerns' (SEC(2011)1003),

–  having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the European Single Market has brought tremendous benefits to 500 million Europeans, whilst opening up new opportunities for expansion for more than 21 million European businesses, and has become the real engine for growth within the European economy;

B.  whereas in a large number of areas there is still a gap between what people expect from the Single Market and what they experience in practice;

C.  whereas on the eve of its 20th anniversary, the Single Market is more crucial than ever before for revitalising the European economy and for the viability of the European project in the long term;

D.  whereas the first Single Market Forum brought together European businesses, social partners, non-governmental organisations, think tanks, journalists, national Parliaments, European institutions, public authorities at various levels of government and European citizens;

1.  Stresses the importance of converting the Single Market Forum into a regular event, to enable businesses and citizens as well as local and regional authorities to directly participate in and influence the further development of the Single Market;

2.  Calls on the Commission to work with Member States, applicant countries and EEA partners to hold and promote major public events in 2012 in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Single Market; considers that the objective should be at least one event in all participating countries, with regional activities as appropriate, linked to a central, main EU event, possibly organised with the EU Presidency;

3.  Calls on the Commission to put forward all 12 priorities in the Single Market Act by the end of 2011 to enable the Council and the European Parliament, in close cooperation with the Commission, to adopt a first set of priority measures by the end of 2012 to impart new impetus to the Single Market;

4.  Calls for continuous monitoring of the implementation of the Single Market Act at the highest political level by, inter alia, a regular review and reporting by the Commission, its inclusion as a key agenda item at the Competitiveness Council and progress reports at the European Council; underlines in this regard the need for timely and correct transposition and implementation of existing legislation;

5.  Underlines that the European Single Market contributes positively to innovation and that, underpinned by coordinated Commission initiatives and a strong commitment from the Member States, it will generate new opportunities for businesses – particularly innovative SMEs – and will strongly support job creation and social cohesion and bring about sustainable economic growth, as well as meet the needs of EU citizens and consumers;

6.  Underlines the lack of awareness and limited knowledge of citizens, consumers and SMEs about their rights and opportunities within the single market; calls on the Commission to consider the adoption of a user-friendly, regularly updated and easily accessible Citizens' Rights Charter for all citizens moving, working, shopping and selling across borders, as called for in its resolution of 20 May 2010(1), which will serve as a practical handbook outlining citizens' rights and obligations within the single market;

7.  Takes note of the gaps identified by the participants in the Single Market Forum; calls for the adoption of measures in order to bridge these gaps as a matter of urgency;

8.  Highlights the recognition during the Forum of the overall success of the automatic recognition procedure in Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications and takes the view that it should therefore be extended to other professions; calls on the Member States, competent authorities and the Commission to provide for greater transparency, so that applicants can receive a full explanation as to the reasons for the non-recognition of their diploma or professional qualification; welcomes the announcement of the results of the professional card pilot projects and believes that such a card could be a useful tool to aid mobility for some professions, simplify administrative procedures and enhance safety;

9.  Underlines the need for efficient, affordable and simple Alternative Dispute Resolution systems in order to ensure higher consumer confidence in the Internal Market; stresses that an efficient Online Dispute Resolution system would be crucial for improving confidence in the digital Single Market;

10.  Suggests that Points of Single Contact be developed into fully-fledged e-Government centres allowing entrepreneurs to submit and manage administrative formalities online; highlights their potential in the context of the implementation of the Services Directive and regrets that some Member States have still not fully met their commitments in the context of PSC development;

11.  Underlines the need to complete the digital Single Market and to overcome technical barriers to cross-border trade and service provision, in particular by improving the interoperability and mutual recognition of electronic IDs, electronic signatures and electronic documents;

12.  Points out that in order to improve legal certainty for e-commerce it is essential to create an efficient and up-to-date system of copyright in the European Union and update European legislation on data protection;

13.  Stresses that cross-border provision of services and mobility of posted workers are key elements of the internal market and highlights that the Posting of Workers Directive should ensure a level playing field and guarantee respect for posted workers' rights across EU; considers that, in order to avoid abuse and circumvention, these rules should be transparent and clear; notes that social partners have an important role in protecting posted workers' rights;

14.  Calls on the Member States to ensure correct and timely transposition of the Internal Market legislation and to reduce non-compliance; underlines that use of correlation tables is beneficial for all parties in the transposition process of Internal Market Directives;

15.  Recalls the importance of simplification and proper implementation of public procurement rules and therefore calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure it in the existing and upcoming legal framework; notes the need to professionalise the public procurement sector through improved training, to confirm procurement objectives and to explore possible ways of achieving other policy objectives; considers that the participation of SMEs in public procurement tenders needs to be improved and that procurement procedures need to be less cumbersome, cheaper and more open to SMEs, and underlines the need for an extended use of the ‘most economically advantageous tender’ principle instead of the ‘cheapest price’ principle;

16.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to involve citizens and other stakeholders more closely in the development of the Single Market, in particular by organising timely public consultations on new legislation in a more proactive way, in partnership with national and local stakeholders and social partners, as well as with NGOs and the media; considers that documents for consultation should be available in all official EU languages and understandable to ordinary citizens;

17.  Calls on the EU institutions as well as national authorities on all levels to make joint efforts to raise citizen and stakeholder awareness of the existing tools conceived to facilitate the functioning of the Single Market, such as Points of Single Contact, the SOLVIT network, Your Europe and others;

18.  Calls on the Commission to create a Single Market Forum on-line, as a platform open to the general public, enabling them to keep abreast of Single Market developments and share experiences and current Single Market concerns;

19.  Calls on the national governments, regional and local entities, businesses, trade unions and non-governmental organisations to cooperate to ensure that Single Market rules work effectively on the ground for citizens and businesses;

20.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission.

(1) OJ C 161 E, 31.5.2011, p. 84.

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