Competitiveness Council, 29-30/05/2017

Council of the EU

Main results

Internal market and industry - 29 May

Cars type-approval and market surveillance reform

The Council agreed on a general approach to reform the system of type-approval and market surveillance for motor vehicles.

This major reform will modernise the current system and improve control tests on car emissions data.

“Public health, air quality and innovation are at the core of this agreement. The only way to restore and increase trust in the European automobile industry is to help to develop clean and safe technologies. Reliable control tests for cars will be established so that emission irregularities that occurred in the past cannot happen again in the future”

Chris Cardona, Chair of the Council and Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business of Malta.

The aim is to achieve a high level of safety and environmental performance of motor vehicles and to address the main shortcomings identified in the existing type-approval system.

Services package: provision of services and mobility of professionals

The Council agreed on general approaches on two proposals of the "Services Package" to make the internal market more effective:

- a draft directive aimed at improving the notification procedure in the services sector , and

- a draft directive aimed at cross-border mobility of professionals in the European Union

“Businesses and professionals are still confronted with disproportionate regulation when providing services across borders. The Services Package is an essential tool to facilitate the movement of people and services. Companies, professionals and consumers will benefit greatly from better access to different professional activities and services”

Chris Cardona, Chair of the Council and Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business of Malta.

Industrial policy in Europe

The Council held a debate on industrial policy. It also adopted conclusions calling on the Commission to submit an EU industrial policy strategy for the future in time for the European Council meeting in spring 2018.

“This topic is of the highest political relevance for Europe, given the major challenges that our industry is facing. Europe needs to become proactive and move towards a holistic EU industrial policy to cope with technological change and ensure the global competitiveness of our economy. Digitalisation, new business models, investment in skills and better access to finance will be essential for ensuring Europe's industrial competitiveness”

Chris Cardona, Chair of the Council and Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business of Malta.

Research and Space - 30 May

Space strategy for Europe

The Council held a debate on the implementation of the space strategy for Europe and adopted conclusions setting out its priorities.

"The Council conclusions will contribute to the implementation of priority areas of the space strategy. The EU space programmes Galileo and Copernicus are successful examples of the benefits and strengths that European integration can deliver not only to European citizens, but to the whole world."

Chris Agius, Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport of Malta

Monitoring and reporting research and innovation (R&I)

The Council adopted conclusions on "Streamlining the R&I monitoring and reporting landscape".

It also held an exchange of views on the economic rationale for public R&I funding and its impact.

EU-Mediterranean partnership for research projects (PRIMA)

The Council took note of preparations for the implementation of the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA), following the successful conclusion of the legislative discussions on the PRIMA under the Maltese Presidency of the Council.

"PRIMA is expected to build capacities and unlock financing for research and innovation in the agro-food and water sectors in the Mediterranean area. This should contribute towards addressing some of the root causes of migration and strengthen Euro Mediterranean cooperation."

Chris Agius, Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport of Malta

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