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Boosting Europe’s competitiveness and enhancing the Single Market

Met dank overgenomen van Roemeens voorzitterschap Europese Unie 1e helft 2019 (Roemeens voorzitterschap), gepubliceerd op vrijdag 3 mei 2019.

The Romanian Presidency of the EU Council has laid a large importance into ensuring a well-functioning Single Market, to the benefit of EU citizens, companies and economies. These measures will boost Europe’s competitiveness, as well as generate growth and jobs.


A major element of growth of the Single Market is the completion of the Energy Union. The Romanian Presidency has successfully worked on the gas directive and ensured that the rules governing the EU’s internal gas market will also apply in the future to gas pipelines to and from third countries. This reform fills a gap in the EU’s legislative framework in the energy field and will ensure that the rules of the Energy Union are applied consistently across the EU, making EU’s legal framework more consistent, enhancing transparency and ensuring legal certainty for both investors in gas infrastructure and users of the network.


In a global context, a big challenge of the single market is to adapt the EU’s economy to the rapid technological changes by promoting a smart economy and enterprise mobility. The Romanian Presidency has also successfully contributed to the revision of EU company law rules, ensuring they remain fit for purpose in the digital age and create the conditions for EU businesses to grasp the opportunities of digital technologies. One of the new EU rules enables and promotes the use of online solutions in a company’s contacts with public authorities throughout its lifecycle. New measures also facilitate the cross-border mobility of companies - conversions, mergers and divisions. The aim of these new rules is to achieve greater efficiency, transparency and legal certainty for European companies. Through these measures we will also eliminate unjustified barriers to EU companies’ freedom of establishment in the single market.


The harmonization of rules across the Single Market is essential to its completion. In this sense, the Romanian Presidency of the EU has successfully worked on EU law that ensures the compliance and enforcement of EU legislation on products. The new rules will ensure that products introduced into the single market are safe and in line with EU legislation that protects public interests such as health and safety in general, health and safety at work, consumers, the environment and public safety. The enforcement of EU rules for non-compliant products will lead to an increase in the confidence of consumers and other end-users in products placed on the EU market. Another success in harmonizing EU legislation to the benefits of the citizens is the update of the EU rules that introduce enhanced safety standards for car manufacturers. This measure will significantly reduce the number of fatalities and severe injuries on EU roads and will also provide an opportunity for EU car manufacturers to consolidate their leadership on innovative vehicle safety systems.


Tackling climate change and promoting sustainability are key priorities for the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council and this has been achieved by advancing the EU agenda on decarbonisation and implementation of the Paris Agreement as well as the promotion of sustainability and sustainable growth. Regarding the long-term strategic vision for a climate-neutral economy, the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union is fully committed to advancing and facilitating the progress of all discussions on the issue. As this implies a transformation of our economies and requires an integrated cross-sectoral approach, the Romanian Presidency has thoroughly carried debates in different Council formats (Energy, Competitiveness, Transport, Agrifish). A key focus is to safeguard the competitiveness of EU economy whilst enabling the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The Romanian Presidency has been committed to helping decarbonise the transport sector, the new rules on clean vehicles is an essential step in this direction. It stimulates the market for zero- and low-emission vehicles through national minimum public procurement targets, increasing market confidence and helping to reduce total transport emissions. The new rules will also strengthen the competitiveness of European industry in the expanding global markets for these new technologies.

The Romanian Presidency has also concluded Europe’s first-ever CO2 emission reduction targets for trucks. The new rules will ensure that between 2025 and 2029, new trucks will emit on average 15% less CO2 compared to 2019 emission levels. From 2030 onwards, they will be required to emit on average 30% less CO2. The new rules close a gap in the European environmental legislation.

In addition, the Romanian Presidency also ensured the faster introduction of aerodynamic lorry cabs on the market. These cabs will save fuel, improve visibility, safety and comfort for drivers, and increase safety for other road users.

In safeguarding the environment and ensuring sustainability, the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council has also succeeded in toughening the rules on the most lasting and polluting chemicals to the protection of human health and our environment, ensuring safe and clean drinking water and improving the access to water, as well as updating LIFE programme and ensuring appropriate funding for nature, biodiversity, climate action and the transition to renewable energy and increased energy efficiency.

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