13 May 2019

Integration within the European Single Market: accounting, computer, and construction services

This report analyses the extent of integration within the European Single Market in three services sectors, (1) construction, (2) IT/computer services, and (3) accounting and auditing services, and draws key conclusions in the context of future Single Market services liberalisation efforts. The main body of the report provides a comparative analysis of trade integration and recent trade developments within the three sectors, focusing on Poland’s stakes in the agenda regarding liberalisation of trading in services. It assesses the still existing trade barriers, both for Polish services providers operating in the European Single Market and for foreign firms from other Single Market member states selling to customers in Poland. The discussion of potential benefits from further liberalisation of trade in these sectors for Poland is set in the broader context of the offensive and defensive interests in these sectors of three of Poland’s EU partners: Germany, Hungary and Sweden.

The main body of the report is organised into three parts. The first one serves as the background for subsequent analyses, providing general information on trade in services in the EU and modes of the provision of services across borders, as well as presenting statistics on export competitiveness in the sectors of interest. The second part discusses the Services Directive and relevant liberalisation efforts within the Single Market. This is followed by a detailed analysis of the remaining barriers in the three sectors within the Single Market. The last section concludes and provides key policy recommendations. The Annexes present additional sectoral statistics and information on economic characteristics, trade integration, and the remaining trade barriers identified in Poland and the three selected EU partners (Germany, Hungary and Sweden). Additional information on the OECD Services Trade Restrictiveness Index methodology used to assess the significance and implications of remaining trade barriers is also included.

 

The study “Integration within the European Single Market: accounting, computer and construction services” was commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in consultation with the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology) and prepared by the independent think tank CASE – the Center for Social and Economic Analysis. It is intended as a Polish contribution to the ongoing discussion on the future of the Single Market at the highest political level as well as in the context of upcoming programming of the agenda of the next European Commission.

 

Read the Report