Commission calls on Member States to build a more competitive and dynamic business services market

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Today, the Commission presents its updated reform recommendations on regulation of seven professional business services. The aim of today’s recommendations is to incentivise and assist Member States in creating a regulatory environment that is conducive to growth, innovation and job creation and above all to do away with persisting obstacles in the single market for services.

The updated recommendations reflect the very limited progress made by Member States in reforming professional regulations since the initial recommendations were first published in 2017. Only a few Member States have taken action to remove disproportionate regulation. Overall, the reforms only partially addressed the Commission’s recommendations, leaving significant room for further regulatory improvements in most Member States.

Targeted and effective structural reforms in these sectors would benefit European industrial ecosystems hit hard by the pandemic by creating a more open business environment and improving choice, prices and availability of services for consumers and industry.

Commissioner Thierry Breton, responsible for the Internal Market, said: “Business services are essential for the European economy. European consumers as well as all industrial ecosystems depend on them. Today’s recommendations provide a new impetus for Member States to improve the competitiveness and resilience of our Single Market for services and contribute to the post COVID-19 recovery. The limited progress on reforms in the past 4 years shows that we need to move up one gear. The European Commission is ready to support Member States in this process.”

The recommendations focus on seven professional business services with high growth, innovation and jobs potential: architects, engineers, lawyers, accountants, patent agents, real estate agents and tourist guides. The recommendations address national rules that regulate access to and exercise of these services, for instance by reserving broad areas of activities to professionals with specific qualifications or limiting the types of company forms and ownership structures allowed. Those practices can restrict competition as well as businesses’ access to capital, economies of scale and innovation. Indeed access to and exercise of regulated professions are repeatedly identified amongst the most persisting obstacles for businesses in the single market.[1] 

To this purpose, the recommendations: i) monitor the reform progress; ii) increase awareness of burdensome regulation; and iii) identify areas for reforms with the highest economic potential.

This Communication analyses and benchmarks the restrictiveness of barriers imposed on similar professions across Member States using a quantitative indicator.

This Communication and its recommendations are part of the Commission’s ambitious agenda of making the European single market in services better integrated, more competitive and dynamic as set out in the updated 2020 New Industrial Strategy.[2] It delivers a key action set out in the Commission’s Enforcement Action plan.[3]

Background

Business services, many of which are regulated professional services, represent around 13% of EU value added and around 14% of EU employment. These sectors provide intermediate inputs across all industrial ecosystems and play an essential role in the European economy. This means that a well-functioning professional services sector can be a significant source of economic growth and welfare, and the smooth functioning of this sector will be important for achieving a robust economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

This Communication updates and reinforces the recommendations for national reforms to regulation in professional services addressed to Member States in 2017. It is part of the follow-up actions to the ‘mutual evaluation‘ exercise foreseen by the revised Professional Qualifications directive of 2013 (2013/55/EU).

A Staff Working Document with more detailed analysis of the national rules on specific professional services accompanies the recommendations.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

5 challenges for government adoption of AI

A Sting Exclusive: “Sustainable development goals: what role for business?” Commissioner Mimica asks live from European Business Summit 2015

Christmas spending: Who can afford not to cut?

How teaching ‘future resilient’ skills can help workers adapt to automation

High-Level Forum on providing protection to Afghans at risk

How India is harnessing technology to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution

It’s time to end the stigma around mental health in the workplace

Yes, together we can make a change! YO!Fest and EYE 2016

More urgency needed to help increasing numbers ‘locked out’, before 2030, says UN’s Bachelet

Climate change is forcing 20 million people a year from their homes, Oxfam says

COVID-19 has been a setback for women. Gender-responsive policies can stem the losses

Gig workers among the hardest hit by coronavirus pandemic

This Brooklyn farm company is training a new generation of urban farmers

Empathic AI could be the next stage in human evolution – if we get it right

UN chief urges emergency fund support as one of the ‘most effective investments’ in humanitarian action

LGBTQ+: The social evolution of a minority

EU job-search aid worth €9.9 million for 1,858 former Air France workers

Armed groups threaten every child in Central African Republic, UNICEF warns

Inegalitarian taxation on labour haunts Europe’s social model

Here’s how one business leader is tackling injustice: It starts with personal commitment

To my Chinese friend

UN agency warns conditions around Yemen’s key port city of Hudaydah still ‘very bad’, as staff rush to deliver aid

Commission launches debate on responding to the impact of an ageing population

Honeybees are transforming the lives of mangrove farmers in Viet Nam – here’s how

Migration crisis update: mutual actions and solidarity needed as anti-migrant policies thrive

India vs Virus: voices from the COVID front line

Coronavirus: 70% of the EU adult population fully vaccinated

Azeri natural gas will keep the EU warm soon

Black Lives Matter – for Pakistan’s Sheedi community too

Go early, go hard and keep it simple: how Senegal is staying ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic

Busting the myths about coronavirus

4 key steps to decommissioning coal-fired power plants

Coronavirus response: Team Europe supports Somalia with three EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights

‘Huge’ stakes, ‘daunting’ job to tackle gender-based violence, UNICEF chief tells ground-breaking conference

We need tech solutions that value human interaction more than ever

European Commission adopts new tools for safe exchanges of personal data

Health Systems and Society: ways to reinforce the human power during the pandemic

Eight years after Fukushima, nuclear power is making a comeback

World Wildlife Day: UN chief urges ‘more caring’ relationship with nature

US – Russia bargain on Syria, Ukraine but EU kept out

How COVID-19 is driving a long-overdue revolution in education

Portugal: €4.66 million in aid for 1,460 dismissed workers and jobless young

‘A new chapter’ dawns for democracy in Guinea-Bissau: top UN official

Statement by Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager on the Commission’s proposal for a new Regulation to address distortions caused by foreign subsidies in the Single Market

5 surprising ways major cities are going green

The right approach to addressing overcapacity problem from a Chinese perspective

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “Chinese economy has great potential, resilience and ample space for policy adjustment”, China’s Vice President Li Yuanchao reassures from Davos

New neighbours: Could Venus really be home to alien life?

Remarks by Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius on the Zero Pollution Action Plan

Chart of the day: When do young Europeans leave home?

UN chief condemns attack targeting international forces in northern Mali

Emotional stability and the COVID-19 pandemic: is it possible to reconcile them?

Volkswagen scandal update: “We want clarity fast, but it is equally important to have the complete picture”, Commission’s spokesperson underscores from Brussels

Nordic noir: The unhappiness epidemic affecting young people in the world’s happiest countries

Climate change: cutting the good by the root?

Why the global trade of chemicals is key to COVID-19 recovery

What does the future of energy look like, how do we get there, and who will benefit?

Brexit: PM May must hush Boris Johnson to unlock the negotiations

Eurozone needs more than some decimals of growth

GSMA Reveals Global Partners for MWC21 Barelona

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: