New single market strategy
The Council held a first exchange of views on the new strategy for the single market in goods and services. The discussion focused on measures to help innovative SMEs expand their activities across the EU. There was wide support for the strategy and its objective of reducing barriers in the internal market.
The Council also discussed how to make use of the new better regulation agenda to improve the functioning of the single market and to create growth and jobs. There was a strong wish to ensure that legislation is less burdensome, more efficient and more focused.
National competitiveness authorities
The Council debated a Commission recommendation to create independent competitiveness authorities in each Member State in order to better monitor the implementation of structural reforms. A large number of delegations expressed concerns that these would create additional burdens and delays in decision-making.
Finally, the Council received an update regarding the follow-up to the car emissions scandal and recent developments regarding the introduction of Real Emissions Driving testing procedures.