At this important juncture, where European citizens and
businesses need to be reassured in the European project and its
benefits, the Maltese Presidency has recognized the Single Market
as one of its overarching priorities. On Wednesday, 25th January,
Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business Chris
Cardona presented the work programme of the Maltese Presidency in
the areas of Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) during
a Committee meeting.
Minister Cardona noted how the global context in which the
Single Market now operates has fundamentally changed, as economies
of scale and mass production have been replaced by a knowledge and
service economy based on product differentiation. Although the new
proposals focus heavily on opening up the Single Market in energy,
digital, consumer and transport sectors, greater attention needs to
be given to the remaining distortions to trade and innovation that
affect business operations.
Minister Cardona called for the acknowledgment that restrictive
practices are still rife and that implementation overall falls
short of what is needed to open up markets fairly to competition.
The functioning of the Single Market is especially important for
businesses exposed to international trade, as market openness
impacts investment and trade patterns.
The Internal Market is currently experiencing an active and
dynamic moment with many reforms and legislative actions taking
place. As the smallest EU Member State with an open service based
economy, the Maltese Presidency firmly believes that boosting the
Digital Single Market and removing barriers in the Single Market,
are essential means for driving economic growth. To this end, the
Presidency will strive to strengthen the Internal Market for the
benefit of European businesses, particularly SMEs, as well as
citizens and consumers.
At a Council level, the Maltese Presidency will continue to
monitor the implementation of the Single Market Strategy and the
Digital Single Market Strategy. The Maltese Presidency will give
priority to the e-commerce package, which includes the geo-blocking
The Presidency aims to strengthen consumers' trust in the
Internal Market, as well as access thereto and choice. Minister
Cardona said that the Presidency will also endeavour to make rapid
progress on the proposal for the reform of the Consumer Protection
Cooperation (CPC) Regulation, with the goal of practicing proper
enforcement to ensure that the welfare of consumers is protected in
the digital age.
Another significant proposal that the Council will discuss with
the Internal Market Committee is the Proposal regarding the Type
Approval and Market Surveillance of Motor Vehicles. The widespread
practices brought to light by car manufacturers of late, highlight
the dire need for change of the present legal framework so as to
deal with the present problems.
In terms of events, the Presidency will be organising the Single
Market Forum in Malta on the 19th June of this year. This
conference brings together the European Commission and the Maltese
Presidency, in cooperation with the European Parliament, and a
variety of stakeholders to generate momentum at the highest
political and business level for ambitious action on the Single
"It is our duty to contribute towards a stronger and
functioning Internal Market for the benefit of all European
citizens and businesses. The planned work for the next six months
of the Maltese Presidency will be instrumental to reach the set
objective towards the strengthening of the Internal Market whilst
concretely improving the competitiveness of the Union through a
closer approach to the European citizens," concluded Minister
Source: PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE
ECONOMY, INVESTMENT AND SMALL BUSINESS / Photo Credit -
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