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Services Directive: Potential growth up to 1.5%. EU GDP. Małgorzata Handzlik MEP

Date

15 Feb 2011

The Services Directive, adopted in 2006, is a crucial step in improving the functioning of the Single Market for services. It covers a large variety of services accounting for 40% of EU GDP and estimates predict that the implementation of the Services Directive has the potential to bring about economic gains of up to €140 billion, representing up to 1.5% growth of the EU GDP.

"Those economic gains won't be achieved if the Services Directive is not properly implemented. Can we afford those losses in this period of economic recovery?", asked Małgorzata Handzlik MEP, EPP Group Shadow Rapporteur on the implementation of the Services Directive.

The Report on the implementation of the Services Directive assessed how Member States implemented the Directive by the end of the 2009 deadline. It stressed that the implementation has only been partially achieved due to the delays in transposition in some Member States and lack of ambition in terms of administrative and regulatory simplification. "It cannot be simply stated that the Directive is not working. But the fact is that there have been delays, and that in some cases we could go even further in making our national laws simpler for service providers", noted Małgorzata Handzlik.

The Report calls for improvement of the Points of Single Contact, managed by Member States, which should provide relevant information to users and allow for electronic completion of procedures, not only in national languages. According to European Commission data, 22 Member States have set up operational Points of Single Contact but only 17 allow for electronic completion of procedure, moreover the number of procedures offered through each Points of Single Contact differs significantly between Member States.

"The Points of Single Contact should be seen as a priority to Member States. Without well-functioning Points of Single Contact, service providers won't get the information they need, which might work counterproductively towards the goals of the Directive. We need constant improvement of the Points of Single Contacts, especially their accessibility, clarity of information, languages offered and information and promotion campaigns", added Małgorzata Handzlik.

The Report underlines that the impact of the Services Directive cannot be evaluated until it has been fully and properly transposed by all Member States.

The Services Directive was adopted in December 2006 after a long and lively debate. The objective of the Directive is to release the potential of the services market by removing legal and administrative barriers to trade in the services sector thus facilitating the establishment of business and the cross-border provision of services. It also obliges Member States to set up Points of Single Contact.

For further information:
Małgorzata HANDZLIK MEP, Tel: +33-3-881-75319
Katarzyna Klaus, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, Tel: +32-484-138359

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 265 Members.

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