INTERNAL MARKET/COMPETITION: SENSITIVE ISSUES GALORE.

As the last member of a trio of EU Presidencies with Spain and Belgium, Hungary's Presidency has a programme that is very dependent on the results obtained by its predecessors. It will therefore inherit ongoing dossiers that concern the reform of the single market, at the heart of the EU's 2020 strategy. Although it is not a declared Presidency priority, the relaunch of the single market implies very sensitive and different cross-cutting dossiers, which make up a sizeable agenda for the first half of 2011.

In terms of competition, the revision of guidelines for temporary aid for banks is the main item of the six-month Presidency.

The results of the wide consultation relating to the Single Market Act will be at the forefront of the agenda. Hungary sees completion of the single market as important both for European competitiveness and for the effective implementation of the 2020 strategy. It will in particular follow everything that will allow it to improve the fate of SMEs, key factors in the EU's competitiveness and jobs. It will also follow particularly closely the communication and report by the European Commission on the results of the implementation of the Services Directive (2006/123/EC), due out in early 2011.

EU PATENT

Another leading single market dossier is the EU patent and implementation of an enhanced cooperation' decided on during the Competitiveness Council, on 10 December (see Europolitics 4102). On that occasion, Budapest indicated its commitment to facilitate this cooperation. Also expected in early 2011 is the opinion of the EU Court of Justice on the compatibility with the EU treaties of a single jurisdiction for patents (this jurisdiction would be instituted by a mixed agreement' between the EU, its member states and third-party countries that are contracting parties to the Convention on the European Patent).

In addition, a Commission communication is due out in the first half of 2011 on respect for intellectual property rights as well...

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