On 28th Octobre 2015 the European Commission released the communication “Upgrading the Single Market: More Opportunities for People and Business”. Cooperatives Europe welcomes this initiative: a new, deeper and fairer Single Market can only be beneficial for the EU economy and the lives of its citizens.
Focusing on relevant topics and key sectors, the Communication shows a pragramtic approach to the single market, which is welcomed by European cooperatives. In particular we strongly support the reference to new models of enterprises, youth and enforcement.
The document focuses very much on collaborative economy, and we agree that a careful analysis of the economic and social impact of this new model and the potential need for regulation; in particular, long-term considerations in terms of business development opportunities but also on their implications on existing job and market segments need to be carefully assessed.
As far as SMEs are concerned, Cooperatives Europe fully shares the priorities outlined in the communication by the Commission. Nonetheless, we would like to highlight that the Single Market Act fails to cover all policies related to SMES, as it is the case for the Small Business Act. We regret that the EU Commission has not shown the political will to propose a revision of the SBA and that European SMEs risk finding themselves without such an important instrument for their growth and development.
Cooperatives Europe also welcomes the attention that is dedicated to public procurement and the efforts that the EU intends to put to increase transparency, efficiency and accountability of public procurement procedures. In particular, we recommend to address the elements described in the Public Procurement Directive (2014/24/EU) on the division of contracts into lots and on the possibility for public authorities to reserve tenders to operators whose main aim is social integration.
Commenting on the EU Commission’s communication, Agnès Mathis, Deputy Director at Cooperatives Europe, said: “We are ready to take part in the discussions around the Single Market Act and to bring the perspectives of European cooperative businesses. Most of our members represent small and medium-sized cooperatives and are therefore willing to give their contribution to shaping the future single market. We will work so as to create a single market where all business models can prosper”.
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