Free movement in the internal market

NEWS Published

For companies engaged in cross-border trade within the EU, it is particularly important that the obstacles to free movement in the internal market are removed. It is especially important that there is an effective cooperation between the EU institutions and Member States to complete the internal market. Greater political weight must be given to the common internal market, which is key to the success of EU cooperation and crucial for EU economic growth.

The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise welcomed the EU Commission’s Single Market Strategy launched in October 2015. We responded to this strategy and are continuing to be actively involved in the work to implement the Strategy’s 22 announced initiatives. 

After more than two decades since the launch of the internal market, new light must be shed on it to ensure that the free movement of goods and services becomes a reality. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise is, in particular, focusing on work aimed at improving the implementation and enforcement of existing EU legislation in order to improve the functioning of the internal market. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise believes that this is one of the most important aspect of removing obstacles for free movement in the internal market. In cases where new legislation is deemed necessary, it must be developed in accordance with the process for better regulation established at EU level.

We are also demanding measures from the European Commission to monitor the presence of so-called gold-plating, when EU legislation is implemented at national level. Member States have the right to go beyond the minimum level of EU directives when implementing them. However, this results in inconsistencies between Member States and a fragmented internal market. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise is demanding transparency in this area and, in cases where gold-plating is considered justified, that Member States must explain why and what effects it will have on business.

New legislation also needs to be technology neutral for companies to compete on equal terms, despite different business models, technology used and different degrees of digitization. This is essential in order for all companies to be able to comply with regulatory requirements.


The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise is committed to work for the free movement of services to be reality in the EU. The service sector accounts for a large part of the EU growth and job creation. We believe that a complete and correct implementation of the Services Directive would resolve many of the problems that service providers face in the internal market.

However, the free movement of goods could also be strengthened. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise is pleased that the EU Commission intends to take measures to improve the application of the principle of mutual recognition. We support the objective of transferring the burden of proof concerning whether a product should or should not be, subject to the principle of mutual recognition from enterprises to the national authorities.

Inadequate information and lack of information about what rules apply in the internal market and in different Member States, prevent companies from exploiting the opportunities offered by the internal market. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise supports the EU Commission's initiative for a "Single Digital Gateway", that is supposed to be a single point of information for businesses and citizens on the single market.

News

NEWS Published:

Is the EU single market SME-friendly?

The European single market is supposed to be free from obstacles. People and goods, services and capital are to be treated equally - independent of which EU or ESS country they originate from. The single market is also a major reason why Swedish companies are generally very positive towards the EU.
NEWS Published:

Government Welfare Inquiry proposal leads to total ban on profit

WELFARE SERVICES – WELFARE SERVICES – The Government Welfare Inquiry led by Ilmar Reepalu presenting a proposal for regulating profits was premised on enabling continued private sector provision of welfare services. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise begs to disagree, based on a special study we assigned auditors PWC, and as argued by Caroline af Ugglas and Anders Morin.
NEWS Published:

Proposal on Pillar of Social Rights threatens the Swedish model

Pillar of Social Rights – The EU is pushing strongly to address social problems. However, the Commission’s recent proposal restricts Member States’ right to decide, and so threatens the Swedish model.
NEWS Published:

Free Flow of Data crucial for the Data Economy

Do not burden the digital development in the EU with a complicated framework that is too complex for companies to understand, let alone comply with. The digitisation of society and business will bring us great opportunities if the policies governing the data economy can develop strategically with an eye to the future.
NEWS Published:

Creating a competitive EU post-Brexit

BREXIT The British government is expected to trigger Article 50 in a few months and the ultimate effect on both Britain and the European Union are still largely unknown. Since the British referendum on the exit of the EU, intense discussions on the future UK-EU relationship have unfolded. What is missing from the debate is an emphasis on how to make sure EU competitiveness is strengthened in this period of political uncertainty.
NEWS Published:

The EU Commission publishes its “Services Package”

On 11 January 2017, the EU Commission a package containing four initiatives aimed at improving the free movement of services in the single market. The Commission’s ambition is to create “A European services economy that works for Europeans”. The services package was first announced in the Commission’s Single Market Strategy “Upgrading the Single Market: more opportunities for people and business” adopted on 28 October 2015. The response of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise to the Single Market Strategy is available here
NEWS Published:

Free movement in the internal market

For companies engaged in cross-border trade within the EU, it is particularly important that the obstacles to free movement in the internal market are removed.Särskilt angeläget är ett effektivt samarbete mellan EU:s institutioner och medlemsstaterna för att förfärdiga den inre marknaden. It is especially important that there is an effective cooperation between the EU institutions and Member States to complete the internal market.Större politisk tyngd måste ges till den gemensamma inre marknaden som är nyckeln till framgång i EU-samarbetet och avgörande för EU:s ekonomiska tillväxt. Greater political weight must be given to the common internal market, which is key to the success of EU cooperation and crucial for EU economic growth.
NEWS Published:

Low growth expected for Swedish economy

ECONOMY The economy continues to show slow growth, in Sweden and around the world – as shown in the latest forecast from the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. “Most concerning is the labour market. Bifurcation in the labour market is widening over time and will continue to do so without structural reforms,” says Bettina Kashefi, Chief Economist at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.
NEWS Published:

Cutting red tape essential for a functioning Single Digital Market

OPINION Digitalisation enables faster growth and jobs creation. But the EU could miss this opportunity if the EU Commission Digital Single Market Strategy turns into a long list of demands on businesses, writes Carolina Brånby, Legal and Policy Advisor for Digitalisation at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.
NEWS Published:

Uncertain environmental policy

OPINION The All Party Committee on Environmental Objectives has submitted its final report to the Swedish government. Though this is a broad agreement with clear formulations, it is unfortunately based on wishful thinking and hopes rather than facts and proper documentation, writes Maria Sunér Fleming, Head of Energy and Climate Policy at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, who also participated as specialist on the committee.
NEWS Published:

Minister for Digital Development Peter Eriksson visits Brussels

Sweden should drive the development of a real Digital Single Market. The Swedish Minister for Digital Development Peter Eriksson came to Brussels, to meet with Andrus Ansip, Vice President for the Digital Single Market in the European Commission. He also attended a lunch seminar with the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise along with Swedish businesses represented in Brussels.
NEWS Published:

Sustainable use of bioenergy

The European Commission recently presented a proposal containing sustainability criteria on bioenergy. Issues like the definition of sustainable bioenergy and its impact on the future use of biomass and forest management were discussed at a seminar in co-organised by Swedish Enterprise, the Federation of Swedish Farmers and the Swedish Forestry Industries Federation on December 7.
NEWS Published:

The future of Europe

New ways to tackle protectionism and the challenges of the union the upcoming years was on the agenda when the Swedish Society for Business and Politics, SPN, arranged its annual winter mingle in Brussels on December 5. The SPN invited new and old colleagues to the Nordic House for traditional Swedish Christmas snacks and drinks but also for a joint policy discussion.
NEWS Published:

Industry the solution to climate issues

The 2016 Climate Change Conference in Marrakech has come to a close. Given the proper prerequisites for innovation and development, the industry will have a critical role in meeting the climate challenges we face writes Maria Sunér Fleming, Climate and Energy Advisor at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, from the conference.
NEWS Published:

Labour migration discussed in the European Parliament

A hearing about the revised EU Blue Card Directive was held on November 7 at the European Parliament. The Directive aims at making the EU more attractive for highly qualified third-country nationals, that is, those from countries beyond the EU/EES area. Hearing participants included representatives from the OECD, the EU Commission, the European Parliament and the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. The hearing was valuable because critical assessments of the proposed Directive was discussed, and the participants’ conclusion was that the revised EU Blue Card Directive has a bright future if it allows parallel national systems for labour migration.
NEWS Published:

New rules for EU anti-dumping measures

OPINION The EU Commission has proposed a new method for calculating whether, and to what extent, imported goods have been dumped. While this issue is technical, it is highly important – for importers and third country exporters.
NEWS Published:

Swedish Enterprise visits the Slovak presidency of the EU

The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise’s Brussels office visited the Slovak Presidency of the EU in Bratislava on October 3-5. Meetings with the State Secretary of the Economy, the EU department on the Ministry of Labor, the Slovak Employers’ federation and the Swedish Embassy responsible for bilateral relations with Slovakia was on the agenda for the visit. The purpose was to deepen the understanding of the presidency’s interest in the Confederation’s key issues; trade, labor market, digitalization, better regulation and internal market with Slovak stakeholders.
NEWS Published:

New rules for posted workers - Better protection of workers or the end of posting?

RULES Free movement of people and services is crucial for the internal market to function well. On March 8th, the European Commission presented its targeted revision of the posting of workers directive. The proposal is already one of the most controversial to be handled by the European legislators during 2016. 
NEWS Published:

TTIP – what’s really in it for businesses?

FREE TRADE The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is one of the biggest political decisions of this European political term. A free trade agreement between the world’s two largest economies has the potential to provide clear positive effects to the world economy. Beyond political discussions, businesses of all sizes will face both opportunities and challenges in their day-to-day activities and operations.
NEWS Published:

Growing power demand jeopardised by short-sighted policies.

ENERGY Swedish households and companies consume large amounts of electrical power, and nothing indicates this will decrease. On the contrary, with its fast population growth, and ambitious climate targets, Sweden will need to increase electrical power consumption to maintain its leading edge business sector. But, despite greater demand for electricity, policies currently in place are harmful for the country's power plants. This has to change, writes Maria Sunér Fleming, Head of Energy and Climate Policy.