Black Book of barriers on the internal market

The Ministry of Development in cooperation with the LMIA has developed a Black Book of barriers that Polish companies encounter in EU countries.

It results from the Black Book drawn up by Ministry of Development on the basis of complaints from entrepreneurs that additional certification requirements, frequent and excessive checks, as well as difficult access to information are just some of the discriminatory practices that Polish companies face in the EU Member States.

Free movement of goods, services, persons and capital

The internal market, together with the four fundamental freedoms concerning movement of goods, services, capital and people, is an unquestioned achievement of the European Union. To be able to develop business freely in EU markets, one should must report any violation of these four fundamental EU freedoms. The Black Book is a living document, hence our appeal to entrepreneurs who operate in EU markets to report examples of discrimination they experience, for the European Commission only deals with cases that will reach it via formal means.

The Black Book was created to identify reprehensible practices that undermine the foundations of the Internal Market. The Authors very much hope that it will draw the attention of the European Commission and Member States to the need to look out for solutions that would support the activity of entrepreneurs in the internal market. This very report will also support the government in talks with the European Commission and other partners on the EU forum and in bilateral contacts, during which Poland has been consistently supporting the deepening of Internal Market integration for years. The Authors decided not to be disclosing Member States countries where Polish entrepreneurs report problems, focusing on stigmatizing incorrect phenomena instead.

The Minister of Economic Development Jadwiga Emilewicz about the Black Book

We have prepared the Black Book for entrepreneurs who are struggling with nuisances on EU markets. It will allow them to identify and name barriers in activity pursued
on EU markets.

It is important for us that Polish entrepreneurs, if they are affected by unjustified restrictions, use the available tools, such as the SOLVIT system, which helps entrepreneurs in solving official problems in other Member States, or a complaint to the European Commission, which entrepreneurs make use of willingly in other EU countries. Our aim is to protect the general principles of the European single market, which creates the largest economic area in the world and is seen as the cornerstone of the EU.

– says Minister of Economic Development Jadwiga Emilewicz. She also points out that:

The single market is an asset that helps build the Union’s competitiveness against global economic powers. That is why we care that it be protected against barriers that may appear on the wave of short-sighted protectionist feeling. Its protection equals measurable benefits. Studies show that the principles of the free movement of goods and services generate benefits estimated at EUR 985 billion per annum. Further integration, with simultaneous
elimination of the existing barriers, can give even greater benefits. Only in respect of the services’ sector, it has been pointed out that its liberalisation would generate an economic growth in the EU of approximately 2%.

Barriers to access to the EU internal market

Among the activities identified to have been disturbing the functioning of the internal market were, among others, such practices as:

  • unjustified penalties for lack of documentation
  • securing amounts for future taxation
  • non-recognition of the Polish work permits issued to Ukrainian employees of a Polish entrepreneur
  • inspections carried out by trade unions
  • ambiguities in applying the definition of ‘a posted worker’
  • additional certification requirements
  • hindered access to information on posting on the single official national websites

What sort of behaviors and where should one report?

  • being obliged to abide by additional registrations and notifications requirements
  • guidelines on product quality
  • being obliged to possess given language skills
  • requirements arising from the activities of trade unions
  • additional fees
  • excessive penalties imposed on foreign entrepreneurs
  • increased frequency of inspections of foreign entrepreneurs.

Reports of abuse in this regard can be made directly to the Ministry of Economic Development to the email address, via the informal SOLVIT system or via an official complaint to the European Commission. The Labour Mobility Initiative can help you prepare your complaint. Feel free to contact us at the email address or by phone +48 12 352 14 52.

Source: Ministry of Economic Development