EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, who is seeking to create a genuine single market for electricity, wants Switzerland to join as he sees the country as a possible hub. EURACTIV France and EURACTIV Germany contributed to this report.
The European Commission's proposal for a 'Single Market Act' must be debated across the EU so that citizens can learn about the internal market and get a taste for cross-border trade, Philippe Herzog, co-founder of the think-tank Confrontations Europe, told EURACTIV France in an interview.
In the wake of the financial crisis, French commissioner-designate for the Internal Market Michel Barnier seemed comfortable in the firing line at a hearing in the European Parliament yesterday (13 January). The Frenchman focused on consumer rights and SMEs.
Now that institutional discussions are closed, the EU must have an in-depth discussion on fundamental issues, writes Olivier Lacoste, research director at Confrontations Europe. For instance, what European policies should be put in place?
The appointment of former French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier as the European Union's new internal market commissioner is a victory for France and a loss for Britain, French President Nicolas Sarkozy told Le Monde newspaper.
A former French foreign minister is expected to take charge of financial services in the European Union, diplomats said, a move that would unsettle bankers worried he will pursue a hard line with the industry.
Public procurement should become the driver of new technology developments and the main vehicle for economic recovery, Malcolm Harbour MEP, the new head of the European Parliament's internal market committee, told EURACTIV in an interview.
European and Mediterranean countries should develop a common market, according to European Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen, drawing lessons from his mandates as EU enlargement and enterprise commissioner.
The implementation of the Services Directive is critical to boosting cross-border trade, according to the Czech government, which has also pledged to make implementing the Small Business Act a priority of the remainder of its EU presidency. EURACTIV Czech Republic contributed to this article.
The internal European market offers companies access to a market of 500 million people, yet a strikingly low number of small and medium-sized enterprises are making best use of the opportunities available.
Entrepreneurs will be paid up to €1,100 per month to move to other EU countries to learn from experienced business owners as part of a pilot project designed to encourage young business owners to make more of the internal market.
Parliament has adopted a package of measures to enhance free trade within the bloc after it emerged that many member states are blocking imports of specific products from other EU countries on the basis that they do not meet particular national technical standards.
Trade within the EU received a fresh boost in Parliament this week (18-22 February) with the approval of simplified customs procedures and new rules aimed at reinforcing the "mutual recognition" of national quality standards on goods marketed within the EU.
Pro-liberalisation think-tank the Globalisation Institute has launched a Brussels centre of operations. According to Alex Singleton, founder and president, it aims "to research, develop and promote practical policy options that increase competitiveness and replace harmful regulation".
Members of Parliament backed proposals from the Commission to split up large integrated energy firms such as France's EDF and Germany's E.ON, saying that this would be the best way to create an efficient internal market for gas and electricity.
A Directive aimed at ensuring more transparent public procurement and helping businesses to appeal against illegal award procedures, corruption and national favouritism should come into force shortly, after Parliament adopted a compromise text agreed with member states.
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