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The proposal for a regulation presented recently together with a proposal for a directive on a European services e-card aims to prevent the introduction of barriers to cross-border service provision at national level.

Through the e-card, service providers will be able to avoid administrative obstacles such as uncertainty as to which requirements apply, filling-in disparate forms in foreign languages, translating, certifying or authenticating documents and non-electronic procedural steps. A simplified electronic procedure will make it easier for providers of business services (e.g. engineering firms, IT consultants, organisers of trade shows) and construction services to complete the administrative formalities required to provide services abroad.

The proposal for a directive lays down a legal and operational framework for the European services e-card, for example describes the validity of the European e-card to be indefinite in time, determines that the application for an e-card should be submitted to the coordinating authority of the home Member State, furthermore, outlines procedural steps for issuing.

The host Member State would retain the power to apply domestic regulatory requirements and to decide whether the applicant can offer services on its territory. The e-card would not affect existing employer obligations or workers’ rights.