Mr. Enrico Letta in Prague in a listening mode

On Thursday, January 25, former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta visited Prague in connection with the preparation of the High-Level Report on the Future of the Internal Market, the preparation of which he was entrusted by the European Council and the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The report will be presented to European leaders in mid-April. Enrico Letta attended a conference organized by the Chamber of Commerce of the Czech Republic and the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic in Prague.

Mr. Letta flew to Prague with great expectations to hear the opinion not only of politicians, but also of businesses on how to learn from mistakes and prepare one Single market for the 21st century, for the request for a green and digital transition, how to anchor it in the global environment.

Letta prehled

He evaluated observations from his experience in the USA. “If we want to strengthen the European Union, we must start from a global scale. We mainly need to simplify the processes and set symmetry in respecting and enforcing the rules of the single market”. He also mentioned two key points in connection with the further functioning of the single market - trade policy and expansion policy.

Mr. Letta listened to the representatives of the present companies from different sectors operating in the Czech Republic. Their evaluations differed in detail, but pointed to common obstacles, particularly in the area of services, posting of workers, coping with legal 27 different regimes and lack for harmonization, excessive regulation and expanded bureaucracy and lagging infringements.

At the end of the meeting, Vice-President of the Confederation of Industry Milena Jabůrková informed about the joint project of European business to support the single market and competitiveness Europe Unlocked and the readiness to support it in the preparation of its report.

Letta Jaburkova

Meeting with the business community was followed by a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela. At the meeting, the minister emphasized the need to prevent EU subsidized plants and to focus on reducing the administrative burden for EU companies.

Mr. Letta appreciated that the Czech Republic supported the joint non-paper 15 MS in support of the Single Market.

Non-paper signed by 15 MS supporters of the Single Market calls for A new horizontal Single Market Strategy

“We need to reinvigorate the Single Market and the political will for its further development. In this paper, we present possible building blocks for an ambitious, focused and resilient Single Market policy for the next few years. First, some main challenges are presented. Second, the idea of a new horizontal Single Market Strategy based on three cross-cutting principles is set out and finally specific suggestions on seven policy areas are presented. We want to take concrete steps forward by removing barriers, especially disproportionate ones and improving the application of the Single Market rules. We should tackle specific problems that citizens and entrepreneurs experience in practice and safeguard the Single Market regulations that work well. A thorough analysis of Single Market barriers and the ways to enhance the EU’s competitiveness should be a benchmark and starting point for monitoring progress during the next Commission’s term.”

Annex: Full text of the non-paper

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