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Competitiveness

The Competitiveness Council is composed of the ministers for European affairs, industry or research depending on items on the agenda. It examines issues related to competitiveness and growth and meets about four times a year.

The Competitiveness Council has three areas of competence:

Internal Market

The internal market was set up to create an area where persons, goods and services can move freely. In this context, the Competitiveness Council deals with a large number of key issues concerning economic and business activities, such as:

  • public procurement;
  • the freedom to provide services;
  • the freedom of establishment;
  • the free movement of goods;
  • consumer law;
  • intellectual and industrial property rights;
  • competition and company law;
  • issues relating to the customs union.

Industry

Industrial policy issues remain the competence of the Member States. EU-level decisions essentially aim to ensure the conditions necessary for the competitiveness of industry, through close cooperation between the European Union and its Member States. The Competitiveness Council's priority actions include:

  • helping industry adapt more quickly to structural changes;
  • promoting a context that favours initiative and the development of businesses in all Member States; particularly small and medium-sized enterprises;
  • developing an environment that favours cooperation between enterprises;
  • developing the industrial potential of policies in the fields of innovation, research and technological development.

To reach these objectives, the Member States must adapt their industrial fabric to meet the challenges of today's economic environment. The European Union's role is to ensure that the sectors concerned can be restructured within a given period so as to avoid distorting competition.

Research

Scientific research and technological development is central to the process of economic development. The European Union's main aims in this area are:

  • to strengthen the scientific and technological basis of European industry and its international competitiveness;
  • to combine research resources in certain key areas and priority technologies;
  • to create a European Research Area;
  • to strengthen competitiveness and innovation through enhanced cooperation, coordination and complementarity of actions.

The Competitiveness Council examines legislative proposals in its different fields of activity and acts by qualified majority, mostly in co-decision with the European Parliament.

 

Documents "Competitiveness"

  • Updated: 25.06.2008
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