The EU Directive on 'Services in the internal market', COM

European Public Health Alliance
The EU Directive on "Services in the
internal market", COM(2004) 2 final/3
Agnese Knabe
Project coordinator
European Public Health Alliance
Civic Alliance – Latvia
The Citizen in the centre in EU, Bratislava 25-26 November,2005
Background (1/2)
 As part of the completion of the internal market, on 13 January 2004 the
European Commission adopted a draft
Directive on Services in the
internal market.
 This Directive will establish a general legal framework applicable to all
economic activities involving services with some exceptions, such as
financial, electronic communications and transport services (which are
already regulated by other EU legislation).
Background (2/2)
 The main goal of the proposal is to eliminate all obstacles to
the free movement of services and to the establishment for
service providers.
 The Directive is horizontal in nature, which means that it covers
everything that is not explicitly excluded. As such, the original
text also includes the provision of healthcare services and other
health related services.
In terms of content, the Directive on Services:
· country of origin principle: service providers could be subject to the laws of
their country of origin rather than of the country where the service is provided
· Improved national co-operation: national authorities to exchange information
and work together more closely to replace the current duplication of national
regulations and controls with a more coherent and business-friendly
system. (single contact points, electronic procedures, requirement to justify
authorisation systems, no obligation to translate documents)
· Basic common rules: in order to increase trust and confidence in crossborder
services (appropriate professional indemnity insurance for services giving rise to
particular risks, information to consumers, codes of conduct)
Rights of service users: the right of consumers to use services across the
EU prevents member states from imposing restrictions on such services. This
includes specific authorisations to use a service (for example architects or
builders) or discriminatory tax rules.
Health care: the directive clarifies the conditions under which national social
security systems must reimburse the costs of medical care received in other
member states.
European Health Policy Forum (EHPF)
 Ensuring that the specificity of health services is adequately reflected in any EU
 Ensuring that sustainability and long-term objectives of health services are
reflected in EU initiatives with an impact on health
 Ensuring that adequate consultation takes place in EU initiatives: who is
consulted and how the comments are taken into account depending on the
representativeness and the weight of the respondent
Ensuring that a proper health impact assessment including health system impact
assessment is performed prior to any legislative initiative
 Coordination between Commission services to ensure consistency of initiatives
Exclusion of health services from the scope of the proposed Directive in view of
examining these services within the framework of separate debate
Recent developments
 The Directive has to pass through both the European Parliament and
the European Council.
 The lead Committee was the Internal Market and Legal Affairs
 The Committee just voted: healthcare services have been excluded
from the scope of the text, but the country of origin principle remains
 The European Parliament will vote the text in Plenary in January or
February 2006
European Public Health Alliance
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Tel: +32 2 230 30 56
Fax: +32 2 233 38 80
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