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The primary markets issues are those external to the EU, e.g. DOHA, bilateral EU-third country agreements, etc., and those most importantly, in relation to progress towards a truly single market.
On 3 March 2009 the EC issued its “EU 2020” strategy. It sets out targets for employment, research and development, climate change and energy, for education and for fighting poverty. The commission underlines the importance of the single market in this document, describing it as the “central tool” for helping people benefit from increased competition.
On 20 October 2009, EC president Barroso asked former-commissioner Mario Monti to complete a report on the single market, concentrating on how to address economic nationalism and setting out measures on how to make progress in the single market’s completion.
Monti told European Voice on 12 December 2009 that “We need again to convince countries with a tradition of social market economies of the virtues of the single market.” He said that he was concerned that the single market was facing a crisis of “growing rejection”, by France and Germany in particular. He noted that during the debates about the French referendum on the EU constitution, the “basic principles” of the single market were called into question. He is due to report in April of this year.
On 27 November 2009, the tri-partite presidency of Spain, Belgium and Hungary published a draft 18-month programme of the Council. It emphasised the importance of the single market, and the need to strengthen and complete it.
28 December 2009 saw the coming into force of the Provision of Services Regulations 2009, which give effect to the EU’s Services Directive in the UK. The government’s guidance on the regulations state that “services account for around 70% of both EU output and EU employment, yet account for relatively low shares of intra-EU trade (24%) and investment.” It is imperative that this directive is applied in a consistent way across the Union, and BNE will seek to monitor the situation and draw attention to any “economic nationalism”.
The Doha development round is currently suspended. Karel De Gucht, EU commissioner for Trade, has stated that he wishes to see the completion of the Doha round by 2011 at the latest, along with stronger bi-lateral trade deals. BNE will strongly support the completion of the round.
- Strongly supports the resumption of the Doha round of world trade talks
- Strongly supports efforts to complete the single market
- Will monitor the implementation of the EU Services Directive, and highlight poor implementation