A new single market act: what about cities and regions?

The European Commission is embarking on a detailed recasting of the single market rules, twenty-five years after the Single European Act. Regions and cities are particularly concerned about the implications of proposals from the European Commission relating to public procurement and services of general interest. Therefore the CoR invited the European Commissioner for the internal market and services, Michel Barnier, to present the main pillars of the reform at the Forum on the Single Market Act organised by the Committee of the Regions on 30 November.

Regions and cities are active in many policy areas on which depend the smooth functioning of the single market. Public procurement, public transport, energy and services of general interest are among those having most impact on the development of the regions. A few weeks after the adoption of the European Commission Communication on the Single Market Act, the Forum organised by the Committee of the Regions looks into challenges and opportunities of the new initiative from the perspective of Europe’s regions and cities. The event will combine a political debate with concrete examples of local and cross-border projects.

Responding to a presentation of the reform by Commissioner Michel Barnier, the concerns of local and regional authorities will be set out by the President of the CoR, Mercedes Bresso. Joining in the discussions will be Vincent Van Quickenborne, Belgian Federal Minister for Economy and Administrative simplification, Malcolm Harbour, European Parliament Chair of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, and Louis Grech, European Parliament Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

During the afternoon, the floor will be given to the regions to present 10 examples of good practice in the fields of public-private partnerships; transport and energy supply; and cross-border economic and social services. Local and regional authorities are on the front line where these issues are concerned, especially given their responsibilities for managing local services. It should not be forgotten that local authorities account for half of public sector jobs, and one third of public spending (almost 16% of GDP).

The Committee of the Regions will adopt its official opinion in the next few months, drawn up by the Commission for Economic and Social Policy (ECOS) with Jean-Louis Destans, President of the General Council of the Eure (PES/FR), as rapporteur.

Journalists are welcome to attend the conference and meet the speakers. The detailed programme can be found at: www.cor.europa.eu/sma

Visit the CoR’s website: www.cor.europa.eu

The Committee of the Regions

The Committee of the Regions is the EU’s assembly of regional and local representatives. The mission of its 344 members from all 27 EU Member States is to involve regional and local authorities and the communities they represent in the EU’s decision-making process and to inform them about EU policies. The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council are obliged to consult the Committee in policy areas affecting regions and cities. It can appeal to the EU Court of Justice if its rights are infringed or it believes that an EU law violates the subsidiarity principle or fails to respect regional or local powers.

For more information, please contact:

Athénaïs Cazalis de Fondouce
Tel: 32 02 282 2447

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