Riga, 17 June, 2015. – A two-day Informal Meeting of High Level Working Group on Competitiveness and Growth members held on 15-16 June, 2015 in Riga. The meeting brought together high level policy makers, including the Commission, in charge of internal market and industry.
On June 15, the High Level Working Group held a debate on the 3rd pillar of the Investment Plan and exchanged views on the effectiveness of EU legislative proposals that are based on Article 114 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Seven months ago, the Commission published “An Investment Plan for Europe”, based on three pillars. The 3rd pillar of this plan aims at helping the EU become more competitive and attractive to investors by further deepening the Single Market, and ensuring more predictable and simpler regulation.
“The debates in this meeting made it clear that the further deepening of the Single Market must be a strong EU priority and the creation of a favourable business environment will be a key driver for investment,” emphasized Ms Zaiga Liepiņa, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Economics of Latvia.“ Our main focus must be on two things - removing the remaining obstacles to the cross-border expansion of firms, and reducing the complexity and costs of regulations under which firms operate,” to conclude this discussion stressed Ms Liepiņa.
On June 16, the High Level Working Group held a debate on …
“Because while the Commission is the “Guardian of the Treaties”, Member States also need to: 1) show a strong commitment for administrative burden reduction; 2) ensure the proper functioning of mutual recognition, notification and ‘standstill’ procedures, and 3) eliminate disproportionate or unjustified restrictions, especially in services markets.”
In accordance with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), all actions taken on the basis of Article 114 should lead to the improvement of internal market framework conditions as well as the situation of enterprises in the EU. In the years 2011 – 2014 the Council adopted approximately 87 legal acts based on the Article 114 TFEU. Only 49% of those acts have been discussed within the Competitiveness Council.
“Article 114 (TFEU) allows for the adoption of harmonisation measures for upholding or enhancing the Single Market. However, if such measures are adopted, there is still space for further exploration of the necessity to maintain national provisions.
And it could result in changes of the regulatory predictability, which, no doubt, would influence optimal framework for investment conditions in Europe.”
The HLG discussions on this topic mainly determined that the Competitiveness Council and its preparatory groups should play a leading role in the monitoring and discussion on the impact on competitiveness of the Commission's initiatives that are based on Article 114, and indicated methods on how to do this most effectively.[EU2]
Ministry of Economic Affairs of Latvia
Public Relations Division