MEUSAC Core Group discusses Single Market strategy

MEUSAC head Vanni Xuereb said that the Single Market is one of Europe’s greatest achievements which has generated new opportunities for European companies

The EU Single Market strategy was the topic under discussion at a MEUSAC Core Group meeting, held earlier today. 

During a presentation to Core Group members, Philip Vella, Research Analyst at the Ministry of the Economy, Investment and Small Business, stated that a number of barriers across the EU still persist in the internal market such as unjustified standards, and restrictions to access to practice certain professions.

“Although the completion of the internal market was announced in 1992, in practice many barriers still exist,” he said.

In his opening remarks, MEUSAC head Vanni Xuereb, who chaired the meeting, said that the Single Market is one of Europe’s greatest achievements which has, in the last 50 years, generated new opportunities for European companies, created jobs and offered a wider choice at lower prices for consumers.

But today’s environment, Dr Xuereb continued, is different to that of 50 years ago. “The need for the Single Market to adapt to today’s needs is vital so that Europe can continue to face economic and social challenges, hence the strategy,” Xuereb said.

A number of issues were raised by members representing the constituted bodies, including on justified and unjustified ‘geo-blocking’, the lack of market surveillance when it comes to the importation of certain goods to Malta, administrative burdens to set up a business, unfair competition, and the lack of access to finance for small- and medium-sized businesses.

In reaction to these comments, Vella assured that in an effort to ensure a level playing field, enforcement has increased drastically, especially when it comes to the accommodation services sector.

He emphasised that the European Commission, “which is moving at a fast pace in terms of targets it would like to reach tied to the Single Market to enhance growth”, has made it amply clear that it would publish the proposals which emerge as a result of the strategy between this year and 2017. 

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