Toespraak Vanackere bij opening SOLVIT-workshop van 24-25 november 2010

Met dank overgenomen van Belgisch voorzitterschap Europese Unie 2e helft 2010 i, gepubliceerd op vrijdag 26 november 2010.

Dear SOLVIT i members,

Dear colleagues from the DG Markt,

Dear all,

It is a great honour and pleasure for me to be among you for the opening of this 27th Workshop of the SOLVIT network.

This edition is particularly important to me for multiple reasons. First of all, it takes place in the context of the Belgian EU i Presidency. Welcoming you here in Brussels in the Egmont Palace, is a way to show you the high regard in which the SOLVIT network and its work is held by the EU Presidency and Council at large.

On this occasion, we want to thank you for your continuous hard work, which helps make the common market a tangible reality for all citizens across the European Union. While in an ideal world, implementation of EU internal market legislation should happen unhindered, all of you -more than anyone else- know that in reality, this is a continuous challenge. In that context, the SOLVIT network and its role as warrant of sound EU law application have a key part in ensuring a transparent common market, allowing for all citizens without exceptions to enjoy its benefits. Welcoming you here in the context of our Presidency is our way to show you our gratitude for this achievement.

Secondly, this edition takes place at a time of deep reflexion about the future of the single market. Indeed, as you all know, on 27 October, the European Commission presented its Single Market Act, suggesting 50 actions in order to improve its functioning by 2012. While Director General Jonathan Faull will talk more in depth about the external diagnostic of the SOLVIT network that will be performed in that context, I can only encourage you to use this workshop as an opportunity to exchange your own opinions and views about the future role SOLVIT should play in order to ensure correct implementation of the future single market. In that light, the sessions about the recent Services directive, about the implementation of the Professional qualifications directive or about the cooperation with the Administrative commission in the field of Social security should allow all SOLVIT members to keep up to date with recent evolutions related to those topics.

Thirdly, this 27th Workshop takes places in the framework of the week of the Enforcement and Application of EU law. Yesterday, an important conference was held to discuss the tools that exist in order to translate European law as effectively as possible into national law. The fact that both events take place the same week underlines the existing interdependence between both processes: while clear, quick and transparent translation of EU law into national law should ensure a smoother implementation of those new regulations, the SOLVIT network does act as a watchdog of the quality of this translation by surfacing possible ambiguities or inaccuracies. It underlines the importance of close collaboration among all actors and processes involved in the design and development of the common market. In that perspective I can only welcome tomorrow’s session that will discuss the potential options for collaboration between SOLVIT and the EU Pilot.

I strongly believe that meeting each other in an informal way during these workshops contributes to this atmosphere of trust and fruitful collaboration. Therefore, I wish you all very productive and interesting discussions during these working sessions. And after all of that hard work, you will be rewarded with the the cultural and gastronomic discoveries the SOLVIT Belgium team has in mind for you.

Let these two days be a way to take a step back from your daily work and prepare the bright future of the Solvit network in an informal and relaxed atmosphere.

Thank you