European Commission Seeks Views on How to Facilitate Crossborder Services - Global Trade Magazine
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  May 11th, 2016 | Written by

European Commission Seeks Views on How to Facilitate Crossborder Services

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  • Services account for two-thirds of the EU economy.
  • The Services Passport will give services providers legal certainty about rules when they operate in another EU state.
  • The EU Services Passport will not reduce labor law or social protection requirements for service providers.

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on how to make it easier for service providers to provide services across the European Union.

As announced in the Single Market Strategy, the commission plans to propose by the end of 2016 a Services Passport to simplify the administrative procedures for service providers who want to expand to other member states.

The commission is also gathering views on how to address the regulatory barriers for key business services and improving access to professional indemnity insurance coverage when service providers go crossborder.

“Services account for two-thirds of the EU economy,” said Elżbieta Bieńkowska, commissioner for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs. “But the crossborder provision of services in the EU is underdeveloped, in particular in the area of business services, such as accounting and engineering services, and the construction sector.”

The coming Services Passport will help large and small services providers overcome administrative complexities, according to Bieńkowska. “By promoting dynamic services markets, the Single Market will help deliver cheaper services and more choice for consumers,” she said.

The goal of the Services Passport is to give services providers legal certainty and clarity about the rules they have to comply with when they want to operate in another member state. The passport will simplify administrative procedures without changing the applicable rules or reducing labor law or social protection requirements that service providers need to comply with.

“By looking at how regulatory and insurance requirements play a role in service providers’ activities and options to reduce them if necessary,” Bieńkowska explained, “the commission wants to make the best use of the single market for growth.”

The public consultation runs until 26 July.