Fabian Demicoli

More focus on Single Market implementation


In the recently adopted Single Market Act II, GRTU appreciates the actions the Commission intends to take to improve the business environment. In particular, GRTU welcome better opportunities for SMEs, lower compliance costs for businesses and the elimination of unfair competition by rogue operators in the upcoming product safety package.

Commerce plays a key role in the European economy, particularly in terms of its economic contribution and its role as an employer; it is one of the key contributors to growth.

More than any sector, commerce has fostered and campaigned for the realisation of the Single Market. However, Europe is still a long way off a smooth functioning internal market. Actions are necessary to make it easier for service providers, in particular retailers, to sell cross-border, establish and conduct a retail business in another Member State and enable companies to fully benefit from a true internal market.

Ahead of the 20th Anniversary of the Single Market, it is essential that Member States and the Commission work together to remove barriers that are an impediment to growth if we want the Single Market to be a success.

GRTU for instance welcomes the Commission's effort to fully implement the Services Directive. However, one provision is still cause of practical concern: businesses should not be forced to deliver services to all 27 Member States. There are many reasons for not trading cross-border or only to a limited number of Member States, and for delivering under different conditions to consumers residing in another Member State than the trader. The reason for not selling to a consumer has nothing to do with the nationality of a consumer, but on all the additional administrative burden and costs a trader faces with.

On multilateral interchange fees, on which GRTU is mirroring efforts carried out by EuroCommerce*, of which it is member, at EU level by making pressure locally, GRTU is pleased to see that the Commission plans to initiate legislative action next year. EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren said: "This should be a decisive step to create fairness and competition in the payments market."

Regarding trading practices, GRTU is convinced that a voluntary solution will best deliver a long-term sustainable solution for fair business-to-business relations and looks forward to Commission support towards the establishment of a voluntary framework for the implementation and enforcement of principles of good practice in trading relationships in the food supply chain.

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