President of the Republic of Lithuania

Lithuanian Presidency will aim to strengthen the EU Single Market

Tuesday, April 30, Vilnius - President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with members of the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO). The meeting focused on the situation in the European Single Market and the measures aimed at strengthening this market to be taken by Lithuania during its Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

"The European Union's Single Market, comprising 500 million consumers, opens up vast opportunities for each member state. It is a source of economic growth in Europe and a key to successful competition in the global market. The Lithuanian Presidency will seek the best possible progress in strengthening the single market," the President said.

According to the President, seeking Europe's economic growth it is essential to better exploit the existing instruments. Simplified and more coherent rules and their faster implementation as well as reduced administrative burden on business would allow accelerating economic growth without increasing the debt of the member states. During its presidency Lithuania will aim to initiate the Council discussions and adopt conclusions on the Single Market integration in December.

The single market comprises 500 million consumers and 21 million companies. The EU's internal trade accounts for 2,800 billion euros and trade with non-EU countries - 1,500 billion euros. This market enables entrepreneurs to reach more consumers. Consumers within the EU are benefited by a smoothly operating single market in the sense that it brings them an increased choice of products and higher quality, and ensures consumer rights protection by virtue of stringent EU requirements.

The President noted that a huge unused potential of the EU single market lies in the services sector. By lifting unreasonable restrictions on provision of services across the EU, which are still often applied, more opportunities would open up for both business and people. Lithuania's goal will be to seek consensus of the member states in order to achieve due implementation of the Services Directive in all EU countries as it would serve to increase the GDP by about 2.6 percent.

Competitive energy prices and security of supply throughout the EU is another important objective of Lithuania. This objective can be achieved only by creating the necessary infrastructure and guaranteeing possibilities for free trade in electricity and gas. Lithuania will seek progress in completing the EU internal energy market by 2014 and eliminating energy islands by 2015. Competition in the internal energy market is an opportunity for the EU's people to choose gas and electricity suppliers and ensure reasonable prices of energy sources.

The Lithuanian presidency will also seek progress in implementing the digital single market - it will serve to give a significant boost to Europe's economy and provide access to the benefits of digital age for the whole European community. The digital single market would facilitate electronic payments, make technologies more reliable, and ensure faster internet connection.

The conversation also touched upon other objectives of the Lithuanian presidency, including completion of negotiations on the Single Market Acts (I and II). Lithuania will aim to conclude negotiations on electronic signature and employee secondment.

In the sphere of consumer protection, Lithuania's aim will be to work actively on the General Product Safety and Market Surveillance Package. This package sets forth measures to step up consumer rights protection in the EU, including removal of unsafe products from the EU market, better coordination of market surveillance and uniform regulations on consumer product safety, more clearly defined responsibility of manufacturers, importers and distributors.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2013.04.30 09:01