Anna Marias tal i plenum om Single Market Act
”The greatest danger that threatens us is protectionism”, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said to the Financial Times yesterday.
In this context, the Commission initiative comes at the right time; a time when we need to refocus on the real economy to get out of the crisis. Therefore I would like to welcome the Single Market Act as a cornerstone to promote growth, competitiveness and jobs.
It is a historic initiative, which in my view should be given the same statute as the Delors White Paper 20 years ago. I truly hope that it will attract the highest political attention in the Commission, as well as in the Council and the Member States. I am grateful that the Belgian Presidency pledged to consider my request, on behalf of the EPP, to convene the Competitiveness Council at ministerial level by the end of the year and take up the Single Market Act.
I also congratulate the Commission for the vision to develop a citizen-centered market. The Single Market Act calls on all of us to share responsibility to achieve its goals. Implementation requires partnership between EU institutions, and the commitment of the business community through self regulation is equally crucial to success. I hope that the 4 months ahead of public debate will be more than another consultation on what needs to be done, but that it will rather be used to build political support and root with citizens and stakeholders the 50 proposals outlined in the Single Market Act.
It is time for action. Today, I would really like to inject a sense of urgency. Unemployed people cannot wait longer for jobs, citizens for better choice and lower costs for goods and services, business for more competiveness.
As a rapporteur for a more efficient and fairer retail market, I would like to stress that retail is a pillar for improving our citizens’ life. Concrete obstacles to the free movement of goods, unfair commercial practices and restrictions to market access still exist. Extra tests and certifications required by some Member States are slowing down economic growth, hampering competition as well as the development of new jobs. Why should toys be tested again when they have already been certified in another Member State? Why does a cheese have to be repacked to be sold cross border?
First of all, it is key to ensure that existing legislation is enforced correctly, starting with the ”Goods Package” and the Service Directive. In this respect, I appreciate the Belgian Presidency’s commitment to effective transposition and the ”Transposition week” that they initiate end of November is a step in the right direction.
Mr President, the light after the tunnel is not protectionism, it is free movement. The new Single Market Act has the potential to equip Europe to play its global role.
10 november 2010