General information on the EU Services Directive

Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on services in the internal market ("EU Services Directive") came into force on 28 December 2006 and must be implemented by the Member States of the European Union by the end of 2009.

The aim of the EU Services Directive is to create an internal market without frontiers, ensuring the free movement of services between Member States. The establishment of company branches throughout Europe should also be facilitated.

In addition to simplifications for each individual service provider, the implementation of the Directive should generally result in increased technical support in terms of e-government and therefore in greater service orientation and efficiency on the part of the authorities.

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Content of the EU Services Directive (EUDLR)

The Services Directive contains the following key points:

  • Reduction of bureaucratic hurdles
    All processes and formalities should be as simple as possible.
  • Central contact for all service providers
    The so-called "point of single contact" serves as an intermediary between the service providers and the competent authority.
  • Electronic process handling
    In future it should be possible to carry out all procedures and formalities relating to access to and provision of a service (e.g. registration, application for authorisations, registration with professional bodies) electronically. This ensures that even applicants from abroad can easily get all processes done remotely.
  • "Assumption of approval"
    If the authority, after receiving a complete application, does not respond to the application within a set time limit, the application is deemed to be automatically accepted after the expiry of the time limit. This ensures that the queries of service providers are processed quickly.
  • Consumer protection
    In order to strengthen consumer rights as well as facilitate cross-border trade in services, the "points of single contact" also serve as information points for recipients of services, for example if they wish to obtain information on the requirements for the provision of services in Germany.
  • Improved administrative cooperation at European level
    For the exchange of information between the public administrations of the EU Member States, an electronic internal market information system ("IMI") will be developed to facilitate cooperation (for example, it will make it easier to check documents written in the national language).

More detailed information on these and other topics can be found in the following subchapters (german):