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Single Market News - The changing focus of Internal Market policy-making-2006

Single Market News - The changing focus of Internal Market policy-making-2006

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At the end of June, Alexander Schaub stepped down as Director General of DG Internal Market and Service.
At the end of June, Alexander Schaub stepped down as Director General of DG Internal Market and Service.

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Published by: dmaproiect on Apr 02, 2010
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 July 2006
Editeur responsableAnthony DempseyEuropean CommissionDG Internal Market and ServicesUnit A-4B - 1049 BrusselsTel: (+32 2) 295 73 57Fax: (+32 2) 295 43 51EditorNigel GriffithsTel: (+32 2) 298 65 11SubscriptionsAnita HaaseDG Internal Market and ServicesC100 1/130B-1049 BrusselsFax: +32 2 295 43 51E-mail: Markt-smn@ec.europa.euwww.ec.europa.eu/internal_market/smn.htmLayout:Unit A4Onlinehttp://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/smn.htm© European Communities, [2006]Reproduction is authorised provided the source isacknowledged.For further informationhttp://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/index_en.htmYour Europehttp://ec.europa.eu/youreurope
3Editorial4The changing focus of Internal Market policy-making7Internal Market Scoreboard shows the need tospeed up national efforts7Expert group formed to provide balanced adviceon accounting standards8Corporate governance: stakeholder consultationsshow the way forward10Launch of Financial Services Consumer Group10Expert group on mortgage funding created11SPECIAL FEATUREPostal reform in the EU moves forward15Industry reports recommend improvements toEU investment fund framework 16Public hearing examines key issues in insurance solvency18CSS fours years on - user survey gives avote of confidence19Public procurement: how to awardlow-value contracts fairly20Stakeholders debate future policy on patents22Infringements
Photographs for this editionwere supplied by:Grifco Communications andthe European Commission.
At the end of June, Alexander Schaub stepped down as DirectorGeneral of DG Internal Market and Service. In conversation withSMN he reflects on the changing international context in which In-ternal Market policy now has to be developed. Whilst pointing to themany success stories in building the Internal Market, we should notlose sight of fact, he stresses, that there is still a long way to go. “Ithink that the truth is that the Single Market will always be a work in progress. It will never quite be ready but we continue to makeprogress.” (see page 4).The first two years of the Commission’s Action Plan on CompanyLaw and Corporate Governance have seen the first wave of meas-ures implemented or in the process of adoption. To confirm prioritiesfor the next stage, the Commission organised a consultation and fol-lowed this with a public hearing in Brussels. The public hearing whichattracted some 300 stakeholders, broadly confirmed the written re-sponses to the consultation and sought selective action in key areasof concern regarding the most efficient way to modernise companylaw and corporate governance (see page 8).The EU’s postal sector is a major economic vehicle. It is one of thebiggest employers in Europe with 1.7 million people directly em-ployed and 3.8 million people working in related industries. The rev-enue of the sector amounts to 90 billion euro, which corresponds to0.9% of the Union’s gross domestic product. Since the launch of aCommission Green Paper in 1991, which highlighted some apparentshortcomings in the sector, the postal sector has been undergoingfar-reaching reform. This has resulted at the end of the day in signifi-cant improvements - notably in terms of quality of postal servicesand efficiency of national postal operators. See Special Feature onpage 11.A relatively low cost and efficient patent system in the EU is seenas essential by many technology-based industries trying to grow andprosper in a fast-moving global economy. The new industrial policylaunched by the Commission in October 2005 also identified thedevelopment of IPR as major policy initiative. Commission effortsso far at launching the Community Patent (COMPAT) have beendeadlocked over thorny and expensive issues such as translationrequirements. In January the Commission launched a consultationon stakeholders’ views on the future of the patent system in Eu-rope and in July invited stakeholders to a public hearing in Brussels.Whilst the consultation has demonstrated that there is a widespreadpreference for the Community Patent (COMPAT) as a way forward,stakeholders, it is clear, do not wish to have this system at any price(see page 20).Thierry Stoll
Acting Director GeneralThierry Stoll3
42 July 2006
The changing focus of Internal Market policy-making
At the end of June, Alexander Schaub stepped down asDirector General of DG Internal Market and Service. SingleMarket News talked to Dr Schaub about the evolving focusof the work of the Directorate General and the challenges itfaces for the future.
"Compared to where we were some 20years ago, the progress that has beenmade in developing the Single Market hasbeen quite remarkable,” says AlexanderSchaub, Director General of DG InternalMarket and Services. "Today, EU citizenscan live, study, work or retire in which-ever country they like in Europe. Andconsumers have a wider choice of highquality products while companies havelarge and diverse markets at the disposalto develop their business with greatly re-duced technical impediments."Schaub also highlights the great changesthat have taken place in the structure of Europe's industry: “We should not for-get how easy it is to fly around Europe,often at prices that are only a fraction of what they used to be. Major industry sec-tors have been shaken up to the benefitof consumers. Just look at telecommuni-cations or energy where in the past theonly choice was often between nationalmonopoly or nothing at all. Now thereare many new operators and brandswhich is a real change for the better."But, he cautions, the many success storieswe can point to should not cause us tolose sight of fact that the EU still has a longway to go. "I think that the truth is thatthe Single Market will always be a work inprogress. It will never quite be ready butwe continue to make progress.”Benefits for citizens and businessDr Schaub stresses that enormous eco-nomic benefits that have been achievedover the past two decades and theseshould not be overlooked.“Studies have dem-onstrated that theInternal Market hasdelivered growth of about 6,000 europer household andgenerated 2.5 millionextra jobs in the dec-ade after its estab-lishment in 1993.There is still muchwork to do, Schaubstresses, but much of it is of a differentnature as major changes have been takingplace in the focus of the work to be done:“For many years our job has been build-ing or redesigning the mechanics of theInternal Market which has meant takingthe divergent traditions of EU countriesand bringing them together in a mutu-ally acceptable, harmonised system. Thisinward-looking perspective is changingsince the globalisation of markets andbusiness has transformed the worldwhich we have to operate in.”"The policies we develop at EU level areboth affected by, and have an influence on,policies and legislation elsewhere in theworld. In today’s global markets, financial
"Our inward-lookingperspective is chang-ing. The globalisationof markets and busi-ness represents a newworld which we haveto operate in."

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