March 1, 2012 1:30 pm
Malta gets top marks in EU single market review
by Ivan Camilleri in Brussels – The Times of Malta
Malta is one of the best EU member states in adopting EU rules enabling its citizens the benefits of the Single Market, according to a new report presented by Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier in Brussels.
Analysing the implementation of the various rules which oil the machines of the EU’s 500 million Single Market, the report gives a clean fitness check to Malta and clearly states that the island is one of the best performers among the 27 member states.
According to the Commission’s analysis, Malta gets full marks for the transposition of EU directives – so much so that by last November Malta had the lowest transposition deficit in the EU at just 0.1 per cent, in the low number of pending infringement procedures and in helping citizens solve cross-border trade disputes through the SOLVIT mechanism.
The only aspect where Malta needs to work harder seems to be in the availability of electronic procedures in the so called point of single contact – although this aspect has already been rectified since the data for this report was submitted by national authorities.
Reacting to the conclusions of this report, Malta’s Permanent Representative to the EU, Richard Cachia Caruana said that the report further confirms Malta’s deep commitment to the Single Market in view of the beneficial effect this has in terms of enabling Maltese individuals, consumers and businesses to make the most of the opportunities offered to them by having direct access to 27 countries and 500 million people.
“This report is a testament to the hard work carried out by government officials and others to ensure that Maltese citizens are able to fully benefit the opportunities of the Single Market.” Overall, the EU report shows that although progress has been registered across the board there is still quite some way to go.
Single Market Scoreboard
The Single Market scoreboard shows that for November 2011 there is a transposition deficit in the directives of the internal market – i.e. the percentage of delay in notification of the latter – of 1.2 per cent despite the fact that in March 2007, the European Council had recommended not going above one per cent, and that this objective had been kept to since May 2008. This figure can partly be explained by the growing number of directives that need to be transposed.
The most assiduous member states are Malta, Sweden, Ireland and Latvia and the least are Italy, Belgium and Cyprus.
Furthermore, the document stresses the increase in the average implementation time, which went from 5.5 months in May 2011 to eight months in November 2011, as well as the number of incorrectly implemented directives, which has also increased.
The Commission said that improving the governance of the Single Market also involves better use of the facilitating tools that complement it. These are practical networks that were established to help inform citizens, for example the network “Your Europe”, or companies such as “one stop shops”.
“All these initiatives need to be improved since, for instance, some ‘one stop shops’ are not available online,” the report states.
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