The Operation of the Internal Market and Approximation to Internal Market Legislation by CEECs
The consolidation and development of the single market are at the heart of the activities of the Community and are major priorities for the Commission. The Single Market, created to promote the competitiveness of European business and therefore the well-being of the citizens of the Union, remains a top priority for the Union. This has of course important implications for the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs).
In this context, this paper provides background information on the key characteristics of the operation of the single market, explains its importance and describes how the dismantling of barriers was handled. It refers, in particular, to the 1992 single market programme as set out in the 1985 White Paper, constituting the most ambitious and comprehensive supply-side programme ever launched. It then gives some preliminary but clear evidence on the question — “has the single market made any difference ?”. It continues by discussing issues of implementation of the single market legislation. It focuses on the enforcement of single market legislation and in particular on administrative co-operation and sanctions. The ensuing discussion on improving the business environment contains references to direct taxation, to information for SMEs and to the Economic and Monetary Union. A brief account of the Single Market Review explains what is the nature and coverage of the first ever exhaustive survey of the impact and effectiveness of the single market measures. Then, the paper goes on to explain that one of the major priorities for the future is the preparation for the integration of Central and Eastern European countries into the single market. It refers, in particular, to the approximation of single market legislation, to the cornerstone of the accession strategy, to the relevant White Paper of the Commission and to the follow-up. It concludes with some preliminary ideas related to the economic impact of enlargement for discussion.
KeywordsMember State White Paper Eastern European Country Public Procurement Single Market
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