Ministers for the Internal Market and Industry on strengthening European competitiveness and the single market

Met dank overgenomen van Sloveens voorzitterschap Europese Unie 2e helft 2021, gepubliceerd op dinsdag 28 september 2021.

The main topics of the formal meeting on competitiveness on 29 September 2021 will be the impact of the “Fit for 55” package on the competitiveness of European industry, and the discussion on the importance of better regulation for the competitiveness of the European Union and functioning of the single market. The session will be chaired by Minister Zdravko Počivalšek and Minister Boštjan Koritnik.

The main topic of the political debate will be how an updated industrial strategy can contribute to the realisation of the green transition, in particular the “Fit for 55” package. The successful implementation of the goals set in the package largely depends on maintaining growth and ensuring the global competitiveness of the European economy, especially industry. The contribution of the ministers responsible for competitiveness on this topic is important from the point of view of assessing and monitoring the real-term effects of the package on the European economy and especially industry, and their appropriate consideration.

The ministers will also hold a political debate on the importance of better regulation for the competitiveness of the EU economy and the further promotion of the single market, focusing on making a resilient policy. They will take note of the Commission's Report and its elements, which will have a significant impact on increasing the EU's competitiveness and further strengthening the single market, and on the possible challenges in their implementation.

A working lunch will be held on the sidelines of the meeting, at which the ministers will discuss aspects of the single market in the context of the updated industrial strategy. Slovenia as the member state holding the presidency wants to encourage the exchange of views and experiences on removing barriers and strengthening the single market, which requires political will. It also emphasises the importance of adapting the single market to the future and possible future crises. The potential of the single market remains untapped, which undermines the EU's competitiveness.

The Council will take note of the annual report of the Single Market Enforcement Task Force (SMET) for the first year of its operation in the 2020-2021 period. The primary mission of the task force is to remove the most pressing barriers in the market and make it function better. The COVID-19 pandemic also demonstrated the task force's effectiveness in crisis situations in ensuring the free movement of goods and services in the single market. The Greek delegation will also present the information on the Joint Ministerial Declaration on Innovation Procurement in the EU.

The Presidency also wants to highlight the situation regarding the Unified Patent Court, as progress made in the last year has brought us on the verge of establishing preparatory procedures for the operation of the court. Member states are encouraged to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement as soon as possible.

More information on the agenda of the meeting of the Competitiveness Council - internal market and industry is available on the website of the Council of the European Union.