Council of Ministers receives Preliminary Market Unity Bill
At its meeting on January 25, 2013, the Council of Ministers received a report on the Preliminary Bill on Guaranteeing Market Unity. Following the pertinent formalities, the Council of Ministers will need to approve the Preliminary Bill as a Bill and decide to lay it before the Spanish Parliament for subsequent approval.
The Preliminary Bill seeks to improve the administrative and commercial legislation regulating economic activities and, therefore, to reverse the fragmentation of the Spanish market caused by the excessive proliferation and patchwork of laws made by different tiers of government, so as to guarantee the free movement of goods, services and investments throughout Spain.
According to the preview offered by the Council of Ministers, the Law on Guaranteeing Market Unity will provide for the following measures:
Establishment of a single commercial license. Commercial operators will only need a license from one autonomous community government to operate throughout Spain.
Creation of a Council for Market Unity, chaired by the Minister for Finance and Public Administration and featuring the participation of the ministers of the autonomous community governments, as a body for administrative cooperation that will monitor strict compliance with the future Law and report on the regulatory situation of the market.
Regulation of mechanisms for cooperation among the public authorities. It is planned to regulate and create a single electronic database to be used by all public authorities for carrying out control and supervisory tasks.
Establishment of a procedure with the future National Markets and Competition Commission for contesting any administrative decisions or penalties imposed on operators that may undermine market unity and, therefore, hinder the free movement of goods and services.
In short, the future Law on Guaranteeing Market Unity will draw inspiration from the single license principle already operating in the European Single Market, and will seek to create an environment in which any product manufactured or service provided under the legislation of any autonomous community can be freely offered anywhere in Spain, with no need for any further modification or bureaucracy.