Dita Charanzová: The internal market on services has to be finalised
Today, the long-awaited package on services has been postponed to next year. The Juncker Commission has promised to limit the number of initiatives to only a few targeted actions with the largest positive impact on the economy during its mandate. This package would have clearly been one such action and the ALDE group believes that it is needed now.
Dita Charanzová, ALDE Spokesperson on the Internal Market, commented today: "While I am glad that the Commission talked about the importance of services in Europe, it is highly regrettable that the College has 'postponed' agreement on the Services Package, including the Services Card."
"Services is one of the Four Freedoms of the Union and the Commission must do more to support this freedom. Professionals must be free to move and provide services in other Member States. The Services Directive alone is not enough alone to implement this freedom. We also need legislative action to remove the administrative burden and technical barriers that today prevent our citizens from exercising their rights. "
"Despite next year being a major election year, the Commission should not be afraid to act where the treaties call for action. This is one of them. I look forward to Commissioner Bieńkowska keeping her word early next year."
Note to editor
A large majority across the political spectrum in the Parliament backed the Commission's plan to propose this package on 26 May 2016 (Comi report).
The service package should have included:
- The European Services Card (legislation),
- The Service Notification Procedure (legislation),
- Proportionality test on regulated professions and
- Guidance on reform need on regulated professions.
The Services Card is intended to remove administrative burdens where a liberal professionals' paperwork from one Member State is not recognised by another Member State, which prevents the professional from working across borders. Such professions often include, among others, architects, accountants and engineers.
The Service Notification Procedure is intended to help fully implement the Services Directive. The Services Directive requires Member States to notify the Commission of any restrictions on service providers and remove those that are unjustified. At present few Member States have completed their notifications. On the contrary, Member States continue to adopt new rules on services and to create new obstacles. The Service Notification legislation would help in tackling this issue.
The two remaining parts seek to give guidance to the Member States on the implementation of the Services Directive in order to remove excuses for a slow application of the law in practice. These guidelines, however, would not be enough to compel action from the Member States.
As the liberal group, we want to see the legislation included as it is very important for all citizens and businesses in Europe, especially liberal professionals. Despite the proposals being supported by many Member States, there have been fears that national politics could prevent its adoption.