EC moves to further open up trade

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union, European commission

The EC has unveiled a set of policy guidelines that could impact
the food industry by further opening up trade in the region.

The European authority this week released its vision for a set of measures concerning the EU single market. Among the policy actions adopted by the Commission are initiatives to reinforce the rights of consumers to take action across borders, as well as to provide clear information for both businesses and consumers. "Today's package puts consumers and small businesses first,"​ EC president José Manuel Barroso said Tuesday. "It marks the start of a new cycle for the single market." ​ The underlying crux of this discourse is to remove bottlenecks in industry and more effectively pass on the benefits of the single market to customers. "A single market for all means a strong social dimension, which is why we are also presenting today the Commission's social vision and a specific way forward on services and social services of general interest,"​ said Barroso. "This balanced package will mean a single market that does more to boost Europe's response to globalisation, to create growth and jobs, to ensure fair prices and to contribute to social and environmental protection." ​ With the goal of driving competitiveness and innovation via providing consumers with more information and rights, the EC has indicated it will propose improved food labelling rules in December. As part of the measures, the EC has also begun to spell out a new standardisation strategy to help research and development make its way down the industry pipeline and into the markets. One intended off-shoot of this would be to encourage energy-saving technologies. The governing body last week presented an electronic communications framework for the new single market to begin streamlining interoperability of e-government systems in 2008. The EC also revealed it is looking to move ahead on common EU patent protection, as well as to propose a "researcher passport" to boost the mobility of researchers across borders.

Related topics: Market Trends

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