Today, Minister for Business and Growth Ole conducted the first formal meeting on competitiveness during the Danish Presidency. There was a general consensus to adopt a number of identified key initiatives in the Commission’s Single Market Act as fast as possible.
Minister for Business and Growth Ole Sohn:
”In all Member States there is a need for concrete results that can help businesses’ out of the crisis. The commitment to strengthen the Single Market is present, so it is important to strengthen growth and modernise the Single Market.”
At the meeting the ministers discussed four of the 12 key initiatives in the Single Market Act. The Presidency experienced broad support for their ambition to finish negotiations on a strengthened single market for venture capital in the EU to the benefit of both businesses and entrepreneurs during the Danish Presidency.
Further, the Council gave their support to continue the work on simplification and modernisation of the current public procurement rules. All Member States agreed that the new rules shall reduce the cost of public procurement for the all parties and be adopted before the end of 2012.
Additionally, the European ministers for growth discussed the new accounting directives, especially whether to introduce country-by-country reporting in the directives.
”This new requirement about country-by-country reporting is an important step in order to fight corruption, misuse of public money and illegal capital flight. We await the negotiations on the accounting directives, but I expect that the final compromise will show that Europe has the courage to lead the way in order to get more transparency in the payments to public authorities in countries rich on resources. The aim is to adopt the new rules during the Danish Presidency”, says Minister for Business and Growth Ole Sohn.
Other items on the agenda were the future effort in regards to smart regulation in the EU where the Council adopted a set of conclusions. Furthermore the Annual Growth Survey was discussed which the European Council will have on the agenda on March 1-2 2012. Finally, the Minister for Business and Growth briefly informed about the progress in the nego-tiations for a reform of the European patent system where the ambition is to reach an agreement before the end of June 2012.