EuroCommerce wants more focus on Single Market implementation

Date

03 Oct 2012

Sections

Euro & Finance

Commission’s Single Market Act II takes some steps, but more is needed.

In today’s adopted Single Market Act II, EuroCommerce appreciates the actions the

Commission intends to take to improve the business environment. In particular, we

welcome better opportunities for SMEs, lower compliance costs for businesses and

the elimination of unfair competition by rogue operators in the upcoming product

safety package. Commerce plays a key role in the European economy, particularly

in terms of its economic contribution and its role as an employer; it is one of the

key contributors to growth.

More than any sector, commerce has fostered and campaigned for the realisation of

the Single Market. However, Europe is still a long way off a smooth functioning

internal market. Actions are necessary to make it easier for service providers, in

particular retailers, to sell cross-border, establish and conduct a retail business in

another Member State and enable companies to fully benefit from a true internal

market.

Ahead of the 20th Anniversary of the Single Market, it is essential that Member

States and the Commission work together to remove barriers that are an

impediment to growth if we want the Single Market to be a success.

For example, we welcome the Commission’s effort to fully implement the Services

Directive. However, one provision is still cause of practical concern: businesses

should not be forced to deliver services to all 27 Member States. There are many

reasons for not trading cross-border or only to a limited number of Member States,

and for delivering under different conditions to consumers residing in another

Member State than the trader. The reasons for not selling to a consumer has

nothing to do with the nationality of a consumer, but on all the additional

administrative burden and costs a trader faces with.

On multilateral interchange fees, EuroCommerce is pleased to see that the

Commission plans to initiate legislative action next year. EuroCommerce Director-

General Christian Verschueren said: “This should be a decisive step to create

fairness and competition in the payments market.”

Regarding trading practices, we are convinced that a voluntary solution will best

deliver a long-term sustainable solution for fair business-to-business relations and

look forward to Commission support towards the establishment of a voluntary

framework for the implementation and enforcement of principles of good practice in

trading relationships in the food supply chain.

EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren said: “EuroCommerce is a

strong supporter of the Commission’s initiative to identify the need to address a

number of bottlenecks for growth in the retail sector and we are looking forward to

the adoption of a European Retail Action Plan later this year to deal with these”.

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For further information, please contact:

Marjolein Raes

Director, Advocacy & Communications

Tel: +32 2 737 05 99

raes@eurocommerce.be

EuroCommerce and the commerce sector

EuroCommerce represents the retail, wholesale and international trade sectors in Europe. Its membership includes commerce federations and companies in 31 European countries.

Commerce plays a unique role in the European economy, acting as the link between manufacturers and the nearly 500 million consumers across Europe over a billion times a day. It is a dynamic and labour-intensive sector, generating 11% of the EU’s GDP. Over 99% of the 6 million companies in commerce are small and medium-sized enterprises. The sector is a major source of employment creation: 33 million Europeans work in commerce. It also supports millions of dependent jobs throughout the supply chain from small local suppliers to international businesses.

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