S&D Group positive on Bieńkowska hearing but action must follow words
When presenting her portfolio in a hearing in the European Parliament today, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, commissioner-designate from Poland for the internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs, laid out the priorities she would focus upon in the areas of her responsibility. Five committees were involved in the hearing, with the internal market committee and the industry committee taking the lead.
Commenting on the outcome of the hearing, S&D co-ordinator for the internal market committee, Evelyne Gebhardt MEP, and Dan Nica MEP, S&D co-ordinator for the industry committee, said:
"Ms Bieńkowska delivered a comprehensive overview of her portfolio, showing a good grasp of the field. However, we regret that she remained quite vague on a number of specific questions, including among others practical measures on strengthening the social dimension of the internal market, on the strategic use of innovative social and environmental criteria within new legislation on public procurements, on tools within the Entrepreneurship 2020 action plan and on solutions for stimulating enterprise networking.
"For our Group this portfolio is of crucial importance, as it has a key role in driving growth, prosperity and social cohesion. For Ms Bieńkowska to be able to deliver in this essential area, she will have to prove that she can think 'outside the box' to tackle the difficulties and challenges of the single market for products and services, European industry and SMEs, concentrating on sustainable and socially oriented solutions.
"We acknowledge her commitment to promoting the external dimension of the single market through an approach based on reciprocity and mutual benefit, and to carefully monitoring the implementation of the recently adopted legislation on public procurement and concessions.
"Furthermore, we welcome Ms Bieńkowska's promise to come forward with a roadmap for the reindustrialisation of the EU, planned for early 2015. We hope that this will include practical measures to reduce administrative and legislative burdens, to improve the exchange of information and to foster innovation and access to capital and markets.
"Finally, it must be clear that medicines and medical devices should not be under the industry portfolio. These products are first and foremost about health and patient safety must be our priority."
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