Magazine article European Social Policy

Single Market Act : Mixed Reaction from Meps and Social Partners

Magazine article European Social Policy

Single Market Act : Mixed Reaction from Meps and Social Partners

Article excerpt

Following the initial enthusiasm, criticism of the Single Market Act, which was published on 27 October, has begun. Generally, the act's lack of clarity and ambition are cited, while its social clause has been strongly condemned.

LACK OF PRECISION'

Initiatives supporting innovation, improving companies' access to funds and the resolution of disagreements concerning online enterprises were unanimously welcomed but, on the other hand, certain measures were sharply criticised. Malcolm Harbour (ECR, United Kingdom) said that "a number of fields require greater clarity, such as consumers' rights and the recognition of qualifications". He announced three reports by his parliamentary committee (IMCO) in response to the act. Social Democrats denounced the act's lack of social ambition: "It does not keep all its promises, particularly in relation to its social aspects." They demanded a revision of the directive on workers and highlighted what they saw as the inefficiencies of proposals relating to services of general interest. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Regional Director Europe & Americas Roger Acton demanded "a clear orientation of measures supporting the creation and growth of SMEs", while the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME) was far more critical, suggesting that there was nothing new in the act.a "One has the impression that the Commission has thrown in the towel," said UEAPMEaDirector of Enterprise Policy and External Relations Luc Hendricks. …

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