European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services
|European Commissioner for|
Internal Market and Services
|Appointer||José Manuel Barroso|
|Term length||Five years|
|Inaugural holder||Piero Malvestiti|
|Salary||€19,909.89 per month|
The portfolio concerns the development of the 480-million-strong European single market, promoting free movement of people, goods, services and capital. Thus it is clearly a leading role but has become more complex as the single market for services has developed. A large area of work is now financial services, a politically sensitive topic for some member states (notably, the UK). The Commissioner controls the Directorate-General for Internal Market and Services and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market.
Elżbieta Bieńkowska (incumbent since 2014)
Michel Barnier (2010–2014)
Barnier's appointment was controversial for some. His nomination came after the late 2000s recession led to criticism of bankers by many. Especially in France, there was a desire to more regulate the financial services sector, which in Europe is largely based around the City of London. French President Nicolas Sarkozy's declaration that Barnier's (then French foreign minister) appointment as Internal Market Commissioner was a "victory" produced considerable worry in the UK that France would use Barnier to push French-inspired restrictive regulation upon the UK's financial centre. Although he said that "we need to turn the page on an era of irresponsibility; we need to put transparency, responsibility and ethics at the heart of the financial system", he has tried to soothe worries in the UK and has reiterated his independence from national influence.
Charlie McCreevy (2004–2010)
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Charlie McCreevy's stated priorities were:
- To maximise the potential of the Internal Market to boost growth and employment.
- To eliminate remaining barriers to an effectively functioning internal market for services across member states.
- To deepen the integration of Europe's capital markets and improve its financial infrastructure so that the cost of capital is reduced, the inefficiencies of fragmentation are minimised and competition is intensified, to the overall benefit of Europe's economy.
- To ensure that existing internal market rules are properly enforced.
- To improve public procurement procedures to ensure that the European taxpayer gets value for money.
- To ensure an effective framework for the protection of intellectual property rights to encourage innovation in the new knowledge economy.
Directives McCreevy was involved with include the directives on:
Frits Bolkestein (1999–2004)
Commissioner Frits Bolkestein (Netherlands) served in the Prodi Commission between 1999 and 2004. In addition to holding the Internal Market portfolio, he also held Taxation and Customs Union. His head of cabinet was Laurs Nørlund.
Bolkestein is most notable for the Directive on services in the internal market, which is commonly called the "Bolkestein Directive". The directive aimed at enabling a company from one member state to recruit workers in another member state under the law of the company's home state. It was to help the development of the internal market for services, the development of which has lagged behind that for goods.
However, there was a great deal of concern about its effect on social standards and welfare, triggering competition between various parts of Europe. This led to significant protests across Europe against the directive, including a notable protest at the European Parliament in Strasbourg by port workers, which led to damage to the building. MEPs eventually reached a compromise on the text and the Parliament adopted it on 12 December 2006; 2 years after Bolkestein left office, under the Barroso Commission.
List of commissioners
- Barnier was proposed by the Government of France, with the post of Internal Market Commissioner being assigned by Barroso. The whole Commission was then nominated by the Council of the European Union and approved by the European Parliament.
- REGULATION No 422/67/EEC, 5/67/EURATOM OF THE COUNCIL, EurLex
- Base salary of grade 16, third step is €17,697.68: European Commission: Officials' salaries – accessed 19 March 2010
- Who’s who in the new Commission, Financial Times, November 2009
- My mandate, European Commission
- "EU nominee Michel Barnier tries to reassure City". BBC News. 14 January 2010. Retrieved 2012-12-09.
- "The Commissioners – Profiles, Portfolios and Homepages". Ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2012-12-09.
- Barnier's website ec.europa.eu
- Commission Internal Market website ec.europa.eu
- Internal Market and Services DG website ec.europa.eu
- Q&A: Services Directive news.bbc.co.uk
- Services in the Internal Market euractiv.com
- Archived McCreevy website ec.europa.eu
- Interview with Charlie McCreevy by Jamie Smyth ireland.com
- Charlie McCreevy, European Commissioner responsible for Internal Market and Services eupolitix.com
- Archived Bolkestein website ec.europa.eu