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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

The Services Directive

The objective of the services directive is to realise the full potential of services markets in Europe by removing legal and administrative barriers to trade. The simplification measures introduced by the directive have increased transparency and made it easier for businesses and consumers to provide or use services in the single market. The directive was adopted in 2006 and implemented by all EU countries in 2009. The European Commission is now working with EU countries to further improve the single market for services.

Benefits for businesses and consumers

The Services Directive (2006/123/EC) brings many benefits to businesses and consumers providing or using services in the EU.

Businesses benefit from

  • easier establishment
  • easier provision of cross-border services
  • simplified procedures and formalities

Customers benefit from

  • strengthened rights of consumers and businesses receiving services
  • higher quality of services
  • enhanced information and transparency on service providers

Services directive in practice

  • Points of Single Contact are one-stop-shops for service providers to get information and complete administrative formalities online in all EU countries
  • Rights of recipients of services – the directive strengthens the rights of consumers and business receiving services in the EU
  • Administrative cooperation - EU countries have to cooperate with each other and give mutual assistance in the supervision of service providers
  • Quick guide – sums up the basic information on the services directive.

Learn more about the benefits that the services directive brings into practice.

The implementation of the services directive and its evaluation

Learn more about the implementation of the services directive by EU countries and the steps taken to ensure that the single market for services will be improved.

More information

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