The European Commission's proposals for placing citizens at the heart of the single market are inadequate, according to MEP Antonio Fernando Correia De Campos (S&D, Portugal). His draft report on the Single Market Act (SMA), presented to the European Parliament's Committee on the Internal Market (IMCO) on 1 February, proposes to add a horizontal social clause' to all single market legislation, "so that policy is developed centring on citizens' basic social rights".

The communication Towards a Single Market Act - For a highly competitive social market economy', presented last October by the EU executive, contains 50 proposals meant to give fresh impetus to the single market. The Correia De Campos report is based on Chapter II ( Restoring confidence by putting Europeans at the heart of the single market'). The rapporteur argues that the introduction of a social clause' would build upon the positive acquis represented by several provisions of the directive on services in the internal market. He cites three fundamental social rights - the right to take collective action; workers' rights and labour law; and employment protection - and notes that the planning of industrial restructuring must be anticipated in accordance with Article 9 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The rapporteur regrets the lack of concrete proposals on collective redress and the lack of importance attached to social services, which contradicts the promises made by Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. The report stresses the absence of a digital single market.

The rapporteur calls for short-term strategies to: 1. improve access to basic banking services, in particular through the creation of a single mortgage market; 2. implement an e-commerce policy and combat counterfeiting and piracy to boost consumers' confidence in online shopping; and 3. develop effective communication on the Single Market Act, which assesses the tangible benefits for citizens.


The draft report by Sandra Kalniete (EPP, Latvia), also...

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