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Services Directive: Points of Single Contact underperforming, study reveals

More than five years after the Services Directive entered into force, a new EU-wide mystery shopper exercise and study on the Points of Single Contacts (PSC) shows that the performance of these online business portals is generally low (54%), with only two countries passing the 75% threshold of very good performance.

In the majority of the member states, PSCs are poorly accessible to cross-border users and the availability of information and online procedures for foreigners is problematic.  Mystery shoppers – people from business pretending to set up a company – tested the services of the PSCs and found that, beyond general business registration, information on more specific requirements for services providers from other member states is in many cases disappointing and sometimes completely missing.  Registering a business fully online can be done in half of the member states only.

Arnaldo Abruzzini, Secretary General of EUROCHAMBRES – which conducted the study – commented: “The business community had high hopes that the Services Directive would allow entrepreneurs to reap the benefits of the Single Market and saw the PSCs as an essential element in this.  It is unacceptable that more than five years after the deadline, the PSCs are not living up to expectations and are failing to simplify life for companies that want to do business in the EU.”

EUROCHAMBRES calls for a much stricter approach from the European Commission, enforcing the “zero tolerance” policy announced by Commissioner Bie?kowska earlier this year in cases of non-compliance.  This must be a key element of the forthcoming Single Market Strategy for Goods and Services to ensure that ‘digital by default’ goes together with ‘cross-border by default’.
Methodology of the study

The assessment of the performance of the PSCs was conducted for the European Commission by EUROCHAMBRES and Capgemini Consulting from November 2014-May 2015.  It is the first study that evaluates the compliance of the PSCs with the PSC Charter criteria adopted in 2013.  31 countries were assessed (EU-28, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).
EUROCHAMBRES has monitored the transposition and implementation of the Services Directive since its adoption in 2008.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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