De Jong enthusiastic over aspects of new report on EU internal market

10 May 2010

De Jong enthusiastic over aspects of new report on EU internal market

Professor Mario Monti today presented the report on the European internal market which he has written at the behest of the European Commission. SP European Parliament group chair Dennis de Jong responded positively to the report, in which Monti makes a number of proposals designed to increase support for the internal market amongst the broad public. Monti contends that the internal market must be orientated more towards the human and the social, something which the SP has long urged. De Jong is unhappy, however, with the proposal that health care be treated as an internal market sector, arguing that ’health care is no market’.

Dennis de Jong"For a long time all we have had is bad news regarding the internal market,’ says De Jong. ‘Social rights and public services have been subordinated to the market. The Monti Report could be a turning point, as it takes into account in a concrete fashion the concerns of the public and makes proposals as to how these might be addressed.’ These include concerns over social rights, which Monti proposes to strengthen. The right to strike, the report says, should be recognised at European level. ‘This afternoon Monti said, in response to a question which I had put, that he was a supporter of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. That must mean that the Posted Workers’ Directive, for example, should be adopted.’

Monti also argues for a more flexible approach to rules governing public procurement, so that they are friendlier to small and medium-sized businesses and less burdensome to local and regional authorities. The threshold above which public supply contracts must be put out to tender should, Monti argues, be raised, reducing the number of such contracts covered by the rule. De Jong is also pleased by Monti’s proposal to develop a common basis for corporate taxes, so that a discussion can begin on a minimum percentage. Such a move could put the brakes on a race to the bottom in which EU member states try to attract corporations through low taxation.

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