EU SERVICES DIRECTIVE: NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR DOING BUSINESS IN EUROPE IF OTHER COUNTRIES GET ON BOARD SAYS HARBOUR
Posted, November 11, 2009 @ 00:00
Brussels 11 November 2009. The Services Directive will open up the Single Market for services and break down barriers to UK business expansion across the EU, but only if all European countries get on board, says Malcolm Harbour MEP. As Chairman of the influential Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, Mr Harbour was questioning Commissioner McCreevy and Swedish Trade Minister Ewa Bjorling in the European Parliament today.
Mr Harbour's claim comes as a result of today's debate on the implementation of the Directive, where it was made clear that several European countries are not going to implement the Directive by the end of year deadline.
If effectively implemented, the Directive will remove costly and time-consuming national registration and approval procedures, allowing service providers to establish themselves across the EU without bureaucratic hindrance or the need to set up a local subsidiary. SMEs in particular will benefit from the Directive, as they will be able to establish themselves and trade cross border with less red tape and bureaucracy.
Conservative MEP Mr Harbour said today,
"Services account for about 70 per cent of GDP but only 20 per cent of cross-border trade in the EU. But the Services Directive will open up the market for services in Europe and bring real benefits to UK businesses wishing to trade across the EU.
"SMEs will be some of the key beneficiaries of the proposal. Cross-border trade has often been out of the reach of many SMEs given their limited resources but the Services Directive will remove burdensome barriers and make accessing European markets much easier."
"However, as we've seen from today's debate, much more needs to be done by Member States to ensure the Directive will be implemented by the year and that businesses will be able to access other European markets, without unnecessary bureaucracy. I would urge the other governments to get behind this Directive and make a Single Market for Services a reality."