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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
News article22 December 2022Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Services Directive Handbook/Proportionality Test Directive Guidance

The European Commission has published a package of practical and up-to-date guidances to help EU countries with the application of important pieces of EU law in the area of the single market for services.

The guidelines will ensure a coherent application of the Services Directive and of the Proportionality Test Directive and thus will improve the functioning of the EU single market.

Services Directive Handbook: This new, updated handbook provides easily accessible and concrete guidance on the day-to-day application of this key directive. The preceding Commission handbook from 2007 was widely appreciated as an efficient tool assisting EU countries in the implementation of the Services Directive. The evolution of the European Court of Justice’s case law, policy developments and new legislation as well as market developments feed into this new edition, making it a state-of-the-art reference tool.

Proportionality Test Directive Guidance: This guidance will support the authorities in the EU countries in carrying out proportionality assessments of new national regulations which restrict access to or the exercise of professions before their adoption. This covers, for instance, rules restricting advertising, limiting the use of corporate structures to exercise a profession or mandatory membership in professional bodies. A thorough, evidence based and single market oriented ex-ante assessment of proportionality of national regulation will greatly benefit the single market and reduce the need to resort to enforcement action. This directive is part of the increased emphasis put on prevention. The guidance explains the logic of this new preventative approach and provides concrete examples of do’s and dont’s when evaluating proportionality.

More information

Single market for services webpage

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