Documents considered by the Committee on 7 September 2016 Contents

10Delivering the Single Market Agenda

Committee’s assessment

Politically important

Committee’s decision

Cleared from scrutiny; drawn to the attention of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee

Document details

Commission Communication: Delivering the single market agenda for jobs, growth and investment

Legal base

Department

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Document Numbers

(37830), 9915/16 + ADD 1, COM(16) 361

Summary and Committee’s conclusions

10.1Full exploitation of the potential of the Single Market, particularly in services, digital, and capital markets, in order to boost jobs, growth and investment in the EU is one of the Commission’s political priorities.

10.2On 1 June, the Commission published a Communication setting out what progress has been made in delivering its Single Market Strategy, Digital Single Market Strategy and Capital Markets Union Action Plan.

10.3The then Parliamentary Under-Secretary for State at the then Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Neville-Rolfe) notes that the Government has been a strong proponent of unlocking the potential of the Single Market and will continue to update the Committee on the progress of individual proposals.

10.4Since the Government submitted its Explanatory Memorandum, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the EU.

10.5The Committee notes that the Government broadly welcomes actions to remove barriers to trade across the EU, in order to boost jobs and growth, and has been at the forefront of negotiations to deepen the Single Market.

10.6As the Commission Communication is a non-legislative document, we clear this document from scrutiny, but stress that the Committee is scrutinising individual legislative proposals closely and will take a keen interest in forthcoming legislative proposals (including on telecoms and copyright reform in the autumn) and how they may impact UK stakeholders, both while the UK is a member of the EU and after withdrawal from the EU. We ask that the Government address the following issues as part of its assessment of ongoing and future proposals:

10.7We draw the document and our conclusions to the attention of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee.

Full details of the documents

Commission Communication: Delivering the single market agenda for jobs, growth and investment: (37830), 9915/16 + ADD 1, COM(16) 361.

Background

The Single Market Strategy

10.8The completion of a well-functioning Single Market is one of the ten political priorities of the Juncker Commission.

10.9In October 2015, the Commission published a strategy for upgrading the Single Market. It sets out a mix of legislative and non-legislative initiatives to be tabled in 2016 and 2017, based on three main areas: ‘creating additional opportunities for consumers, professionals and businesses’; ‘encouraging modernisation and innovation’; and ‘ensuring practical benefits for people in their daily lives’. Examples include improving and simplifying existing legislation and regulation, creating new digital resources to aid businesses and authorities in dealing with regulation, and spreading knowledge among market actors of the principle of mutual recognition and proportionality.

The Digital Single Market Strategy

10.10The Commission published its strategy for boosting the digital single market in May 2015. It proposes a mix of legislative and non-legislative initiatives to be tabled by the end of 2016, with initiatives centred on three ‘pillars’.

Capital Markets Union Action Plan

10.11In September 2015, the Commission presented a combination of legislative and non-legislative actions across a range of policy areas related to EU capital markets, which are focused on making it easier for all businesses to get access to funding and creating more investment opportunities for savers and investors.

The Commission Communication of 1 June 2016

10.12This Communication summarises the progress of actions undertaken to deliver the Single Market agenda, including under the Single Market Strategy, the Digital Single Market Strategy and the Capital Markets Union Action Plan.

10.13It set outs the state of play of each initiative (i.e. where it is along the legislative process, including public consultation, impact assessment, presented for adoption by the co-legislators, or adopted).

10.14The Commission states that the focus now needs to be on delivery and suggests actions which should be prioritised, summarised below.

‘Supporting investments in the wider economy’

10.15The Commission urges the speedy adoption of the securitisation proposal and prospectus regime proposal, notes changes to Solvency II to help support infrastructure investments, and supports upcoming Capital Markets Union workstreams (such as on venture capital, debt restructuring and insolvency).

‘Stimulating new business opportunities’

10.16The Commission notes the Digitising European Industry package, the joint initiative on ICT standardisation, the Free Flow of Data initiative, the aims of the forthcoming review of EU telecom rules, including a more consistent approach to spectrum management, and recent guidance on the regulation of online platforms and the collaborative (or sharing) economy.

10.17It urges the co-legislators to swiftly agree legislative proposals on spectrum release for use by mobile services and on the cross-border portability of online content, proposed revisions to the Audio-Visual Media and Service Directive and forthcoming copyright related proposals.

‘Making life easier for consumers, businesses and public administrations’

10.18The Commission calls for swift agreement of its e-Commerce package of proposals, including on digital contracts, banning unjustified geo-blocking, and wholesale roaming as well a support for implementing its E-Government Action Plan. It outlines the new General Data Protection Regulation, follow-up initiatives to the VAT Action Plan, ongoing public consultations on the ‘services passport’ and Single Digital Gateway, and potential action on tackling cross-border barriers to retail financial services.

‘Enforcement and practical delivery’

10.19The Commission stresses the importance of compliance with and enforcement of the Single Market. It notes the revision of the Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation, the forthcoming proposal for a new Single Market Information Tool, plans to propose a legislative initiative to improve the notification procedure for services, revision of the Mutual Recognition Regulation in 2017, and future action to tackle the increasing number of illegal or unsafe products.

The then Minister’s Explanatory Memorandum dated 16 June 2016

10.20The then Minister states that the “UK has long been a supporter of deepening the Single Market”. She notes that the Government has urged the Commission to “propose ambitious proposals to deepen the Single Market” and “called on the Commission to focus on delivering the commitments in the strategy as rapidly as possible”.

10.21On the Digital Single Market, the then Minister states that the then Prime Minister (Mr David Cameron) “called for action to expand consumer access to the widest range of goods and services in the EU and reduce barriers to growth for businesses in the single market” and the Government has “welcomed” the Digital Single Market Strategy.

10.22On the Capital Markets Union Action Plan, the then Minister states that the “Government supports the Capital Markets Union project and believes it marks a shift in financial services policymaking away from crisis remediation and towards supporting jobs and growth in Europe” and notes that the Communication provides a progress update and “does not contain any new proposals or legislation”.

10.23The then Minister concludes that “[a]ll the proposals that are still due to be published [relating to the wider Single Market Agenda] will be covered in separate Explanatory Memoranda”.

Previous Committee Reports

None.





© Parliamentary copyright 2015

12 September 2016