Commissioner-designate Bieńkowska and the social dimension of the internal market
Last week was the turn of Ms. Elżbieta Bieńkowska's hearing, Commissioner-designate for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. In her opening statement she expressed her personal interest in social entrepreneurship as a way to ensure the social dimension of the internal market.
The question that we suggested MEPs to raise with her is the following one:
Ms Bieńkowska delivered a comprehensive overview of her portfolio. However, on the issues that are relevant for strenthening the social dimension of the internal market she remained quite vague. In fact in her opening statement she expressed her personal interest in social entrepreneurship as a way to ensure the social dimension of the internal market.
Patrizia Toia (S&D) raised a question to Ms. Bienkowska about how she would guarantee a level-playing field for all kinds of enterprises such as mutuals, cooperatives and social enterprises in the EU. This should build on the Entrepreneurship 2020 action plan in which the EU committed itself to respect the different forms of enterprises (traditional business, cooperatives, mutuals, social enterprises). However in her response she was vague, as well as concerning the questions on the strategic use of innovative social and environmental criteria within new legislation on public procurement and the price not being the only criteria by which awarding contracts.
To the concerns raised by many MEPs about the integration of public health in her portfolio, Bienkowska promised that the health safety of patients and access to and quality of medicines would be provided, independently and regardless of which portfolio pharma is included. The pharmaceutical industry is the biggest sector in the world, therefore in her view its move to this portfolio is fully justified.
We are therefore ready to collaborate with Ms Bienkowska to implement measures that enable a stronger dimension of the internal market.