Services e-card: Selling a service should be no different to selling a car

MEPS block introduction of services E-card

A proposal to introduce a much needed services e-card that would have made it easier for companies to provide their services in other Member States was rejected by MEPs in the parliament’s internal market committee today.

Under the draft laws companies wishing to provide their services in another EU country would be able to complete administrative formalities in their own country and language before it is transmitted by authorities to the host member state. While companies will still need to adhere to local laws, such as labour rules, the e-card aims to reduce much of the bureaucracy that comes with offering services in another Member State.

Parliament has two rapporteurs on the proposals, internal market committee chair Anneleen Van Bossuyt from the ECR Group, and Morten Lokkegaard from ALDE. Both support the proposals, which are also backed businesses and in particular SMEs, and are accusing MEPs from other groups, particularly those in the EPP and S&D Groups of setting back services reform by another decade and not practicing what they preach on jobs and growth.

Speaking ahead of the vote, Van Bossuyt said:

“We’re always hearing that the EU’s four freedoms are unconditional, but it’s clearly not true when it comes to services.

“A decade on from the Services Directive and all we see is continued stalling rather than reform. This was a chance for MEPs to stand up for a single market in services, and the consumers who stand to benefit.

“We’ve made so much progress in goods, but not nearly enough in services. Selling a service should be no different to selling a car.”

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