CHAPTER 6: RE-LAUNCHING THE SINGLE
116. The publication of the Monti Report and
the creation of a Single Market Act are evidence that the Commission
is taking steps to re-launch the Single Market. Previous chapters
have discussed specific ways in which the functioning of the Single
Market could be improved. This chapter discusses more general
measures which Member States and the EU Institutions could take
to promote the Single Market.
The role of Member States
117. Louis Grech argued that governments tended
to claim credit for policies which were progressing well, but
that when something was wrong the same governments blamed the
Malcolm Harbour told us that, in regard to the perception that
companies were coming from other Member States to take jobs from
local workers, governments "have [not] been very good at
explaining why that is happening and how important it is."
The BCC echoed this, telling us that governments "have got
to stop using the EU as a scapegoat, and they've got to stand
up for the decisions they take."
118. Professor Monti suggested that the UK was
affected by market or integration fatigue much less than most
other Member States. However, he pointed to former Prime Minister
Gordon Brown's call for "British jobs for British workers"
in 2007, and the later protests against foreign labour, for instance
at the Lindsey Oil Refinery in Lincolnshire in 2009, as "unexpectedly
strong having come within the context of the UK ... this is something
that would have been definitely unexpected from the UK before
the [financial] crisis."
119. Professor Monti has also argued that, due
to the UK's strong record of arguing for, and implementing, Single
Market measures, the UK should be strongly involved with any re-launched
commitment to achieving the Single Market. He suggested the UK
should seek to pursue the argument in line with sympathetic Member
States, and singled out Germany and Poland as likely allies.
120. The Government were non-committal. They
stated that "the UK should lead by exampleby cutting
red tape, opening up new market opportunities and facilitating
innovation" but also that it "should not be for the
Government alone to try to generate the necessary momentum"
in order to complete the Single Market.
121. We note that work appears to be taking place
in this regard. On 18 March 2011, the Prime Minister, along with
his counterparts from the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Finland,
Estonia, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, issued a letter, Getting
Europe Growing, to Presidents Barroso and Van Rompuy, in which
they describe the Single Market as the "core foundation of
the world's largest economy", and call for the proper implantation
of the Services Directive and the building of a "truly digital
Single Market". That letter is reproduced in full at Appendix
122. We believe that the UK should return
to the position of strongly championing the Single Market and
that the Government should actively promote the Single Market
Act within the relevant Council configurations.
Spreading the word
123. The BCC suggested that many UK businesses
were still unaware of the opportunities available in the Single
Market and argued that the solution was a targeted information
campaign explaining the benefits of the Single Market to businesses
across the EU,
which they explained had not occurred since 1992. It told us that
there was a high degree of ignorance among the BCC's members about
the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), which provides basic information
on markets and legislation that applies in other EU Member States.
This was "something [the BCC] have got to put right; that's
also something that the Commission has got to put right, and the
Government has to take ownership of the EEN as well, since it
actually puts money into it." It also suggested that all
the agencies operating in this areaBusiness Link, UKTI,
EENshould be brought together in the UK either physically
or online and that the UK Point of Single Contact was a good platform
on which to build.
124. Malcolm Harbour considered that the Single
Market would work better if the quality of information available
to consumers was improved, and he suggested the establishment
of quality marks for service provision.
He also argued that Member States and the European Commission
should help businesses to understand the level of information
already there and how they could take advantage of it.
The Minister agreed: "we need to make sure that people know
where to go to get that help, and particularly that it is geared
and tailored to SMEs."
125. We believe that the Government should
actively promote the benefits of the Single Market to UK business,
especially to SMEs. This should involve a joined-up approach involving
all relevant Government agencies and trade associations.
126. Information should be made available,
in a straightforward format, to businesses and consumers on how
best to take advantage of the Single Market. In this context,
we again welcome the establishment of Points of Single Contact
under the Services Directive, and conclude that such sources of
business information should be more effectively promoted to make
it easier for businesses considering trading across borders.
158 Q 32 Back
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EUSM 7 Back
EUSM 9.This is also one of their "Eight Ways to Make the
Single Market Work". Back
Q 126. Business Link is the Government's website for businesses,
which gathers together the different government information sources,
including descriptions of the relevant regulations, as well as
practical advice on various aspects of doing business, such as
marketing; UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) reports to both BIS
and the FCO, and aims to help UK companies seeking to invest abroad,
as well as encouraging inward investment from foreign companies;
The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) is an EU organisation which
brings together business support organisations from 47 countries
in order to help small businesses take advantage of the EU Single
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