EUROPEAN UNION (May 3, 2017) – European Commission aims to cut red tape with series of single-market measures

Measures would make it easier to relocate within Europe

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IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The European Commission moved this week toward implementing a series of measures aimed at boosting the single market, including measures that would make it easier to relocate within Europe or establishing a business in Europe.

What does the change mean? Among other changes, the European Union would set up a program to make it easier to complete processes such as obtaining birth certificates, registering for social security benefits, registering business activities or paying employee benefit contributions. The Commission is also seeking to help EU companies that encounter difficulty with public administrations when conducting cross-border business or relocating.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing. The Commission said that with help from the European Parliament and EU member states, the reforms could take effect in 2020.
  • Who is affected: Companies or individuals operating businesses or relocating within Europe.
  • Impact on processing times: The changes do not impact immigration processing times directly, but could make it easier to collect supporting documents or meet other immigration-related requirements.
  • Business impact: The Commission said the package of measures was designed to make the single market “work better for citizens and businesses,” and could have a positive impact on relocating and setting up businesses in Europe.

Background: The changes are part of the EU’s Single Market Strategy, an initiative started in 2015 to “unleash the full potential” of the single market.

The measures include establishing a “single digital gateway” to make it easier to obtain information on working, moving and starting a businesses in any of the EU member states. The digital gateway would aid businesses and individuals in completing tasks such as obtaining birth certificates, registering for social security benefits, registering business activities and paying employee benefit contributions.

The Commission also said it would develop a “single market information tool” aimed at providing businesses with “comprehensive, reliable, and accurate market information.” It also plans to develop a SOLVIT action plan to help companies if they experience difficulties with public administrations when conducting cross-border business or moving locations.

BAL Analysis: While the changes described above will not be implemented for some time, they represent an attempt by the European Commission to smooth over some of the common difficulties companies have when conducting business in or relocating within Europe’s single market. Additional information is available at a European Commission FAQ page on the series of measures.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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