Directive On Services in the internal market
General information on the Services Directive
- Objective and Main Features
- Further General information on the Services Directive
- Transposition of the Directive in Ireland, including post transposition developments
The following additional information on the Services Directive is also available in the links below
The Irish Point of Single Contact
The Irish Point of Single Contact (PSC) has been established as the point of single contact for Ireland as required under the Services Directive. The PSC is part of the EUGO network of Points of Single Contacts in the Member States. The role of the PSC is to assist service providers who wish to provide services in Ireland, by connecting them with the relevant competent authorities in order to complete all relevant procedures.
The list of Article 21 bodies designated under the Services Directive to provide information to businesses and consumers is available in the link information on the Services Directive (158.12 KB) on the National Point of Single Contact.
The Services Directive (Directive 2006/123/EC on services in the internal market) was transposed in November 2010. The European Union (Provision of Services) Regulations 2010 (S.I.No. 533 of 2010) give effect to the Services Directive in Ireland, with the exception of Article 42 of the Directive, which was transposed separately by the European Communities (Court Orders for the Protection of Consumer Interests) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 555 of 2010).
Please find links below to copies of the regulations that transposed the Services Directive and a copy of a press release that was issued about the tranposing regulations.
- European Union (Provision of Services) Regulations 2010 giving effect to Directive 2006/123/EC on services in the internal market (S.I. No. 533 of 2010), (220.93 KB)
- The European Communities (Court Orders for the Protection of Consumer Interests) Regulations 2010, transposed Article 42 of the Services Directive by way of a new Statutory Instrument, (S.I. No. 555 of 2010 )
- Press Release on the European Union (Provision of Services) Regulations 2010, S.I. No. 533 of 2010
Note on Article 42 of the Services Directive
The decision to transpose Article 42 of the Services Directive separately in the European Communities (Court Orders for the the Protection of Consumer Interests) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 555 of 2010) was taken for reasons of transparency. The transposition of Article 42 adds the Services Directive to the list of Directives that are covered by the Injunctions Directive.
The European Communities (Court Orders for the Protection of Consumer Interests) Regulations 2010 also transpose Directive 2009/22/EC on injunctions for the protection of consumer interests and revoke the European Communities (Protection of Consumer Collective Interests) Regulations (S.I. No. 449 of 2001). The injunction Directive ensures that consumer rights, as set out in a number of other Directives can be protected by providing a means where Member States can bring an action to stop any breaches of consumer rights under the Directive in question.
Article 8 of the Services Directive
Please find links below to the Regulations made by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources that are linked to Article 8 of the Services Directive, plus a note on Article 8 of the Directive.
8 June 2010 Electronic Commerce (Certification Service Providers Supervision Scheme) Regulations 2010, S.I. 233 of 2010 (pdf document, 103.37kb)
Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 12 December 2006 on services in the internal market- OJ L 376/36 (pdf document 213kb) – OJ L 376/36 (pdf document, 213kb) is part of the process of economic reform launched by the Lisbon European Council (the Lisbon Agenda) with a view to making the EU the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010. See also Commission Decision 2009/739/EC, Commission Decision 2009/767/EC , Commission Decision 2010/425/EU, which amends Commission Decision 2009/767/EC, and Commission Decision 2011/130/EU.
The free movement of people, goods and services across EU borders is one of the main benefits for citizens and businesses alike in the EU, providing greater choice and price competition. Services account, in most Member States, for 70% of GNP and employment. The services covered by the Directive represented about 40% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), roughly twice as much as manufacturing.
The Directive applies to all commercial services, except financial, electronic communications and transport services. Public services are excluded, as are healthcare services, audio-visual services, activities connected with the exercise of official authority, temporary employment agencies, security services, certain social services, gambling and taxation. The Directive applies only to the providers of commercial services established in a Member State.
The Commission published a Handbook to assist Member States with the implementation of the Directive.
The objective of the Directive is to provide the necessary legal framework that will eliminate the obstacles to the freedom of establishment for service providers and the free movement of services between the Member States, giving both the providers and the recipients of services the legal certainty they need to exercise these two fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Treaty. Some provisions of the Directive relate to freedom of establishment only, some to free movement of services only and some to both. The Directive also gives affect to decisions of the European Court of Justice.
Obstacles to the freedom of establishment will be eliminated through:
- Administrative simplification measures in Member States, to make it easier for a service provider in one Member State to become established in another Member State;
- Certain principles which authorization schemes must respect, i.e. they must not discriminate against a service provider on grounds of nationality, the authorisation schemes must be objectively justified (they must be in the public interest) and the objective cannot be attained be means of a less restricted measure (Article 9);
- The prohibition of particularly restrictive legal requirements (Article 14);
- The obligation to assess further certain other legal
requirements (Article 15).
In order to eliminate obstacles to the free movement of services the Directive provides for:
- The free movement of services under which Member States would respect the right of service providers to provide services in a Member State other than that in which they are established;
- The right of recipients, including consumers, to avail of services from other Member States. Irish consumers will benefit from more suppliers offering increased competition into different sectors of the economy;
- Rights for recipients who obtain services from a provider established in another Member State, including information on services and their providers.
The Directive aims to establish mutual trust between Member States through:
- Mutual assistance between national authorities with a view to effective supervision of service providers and the services they provide; this is known as administrative co-operation;
- Harmonization of some legislation e.g. professional insurance, dispute settlement, exchange of information, etc;
- Measures for promoting the quality of services;
- Encouraging the drawing up of codes of conduct, in particular for certain services such as the regulated professions and estate agents.
Please see link to general information on the transposition of the Services Directive in Ireland.
12 April 2011 The Register of competent authorities as provided for under Regulations 44 of the European Union (Provision of Services) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No 533 of 2010).
10 March 2011Council conclusions on a better functioning Single Market for services- (mutual evaluation process of the Services Directive) at the 10 March meeting of the Competitiveness Council (pdf document, 1.4kb)
10 December 2010 Information note from the EU Commission on the state of implementation of the Services Directive for the 10th December 2010 meeting of the Competiveness Council (pdf document, 40.18kb)
Post transposition developments in the European Commission
8 June 2012 Commission Communication on the implementation of the Services Directive ‘A partnership for new growth in Services 2012-2015
25 February 2011Commission Decision establishing minimum requirements for the cross-border processing of documents signed electronically by competent authorities under Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on services in the internal market
Post transposition developments in the European Parliament
Information to be updated.
For any queries regarding the Services Directive, please contact:
Internal Market Unit,
Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation,
Telephone: +353 1 631 2153
Fax: +353 1 631 3853
Email: : Colette.Reilly@djei.ie
Last modified: 31/08/2012