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EU Services Directive

General information on the EU Services Directive

The Directive on services in the internal market entered into force at the end of 2006 after many years of negotiations in the European Council and the European Parliament. The Member States were given until the end of 2009 to implement the Directive in national law.

The objective was to provide a boost to the burgeoning services sector across Europe by removing barriers to the free movement of services, cutting red tape and providing increased legal certainty.

This means that now, for example, businesses can benefit from a "point of single contact": here, they can file all of the applications needed to access and exercise a service activity in one place. Moreover, the Services Directive contains provisions on administrative cooperation, the rights of service recipients and reporting obligations.

Implementation in Austria

Due to the division of powers within Austria, the implementation of the EU Services Directive falls partly to the federal government and partly to the federal provinces.

In order to implement those elements of the EU Services Directive which are intended to apply equally to all regional authorities, a Dienstleistungsgesetz (DLG) was first drawn up, for which a constitutional provision subject to the approval of the Austrian Federal Council (clause on the division of powers) was required. The relevant government bill was adopted by the Austrian Council of Ministers on 28 July 2009 and assigned to the Austrian National Council for official deliberation.

As it was not possible to obtain the necessary constitutional majority for the clause on the division of powers, a "nine-plus-one solution" was opted for, whereby one federal law is adopted covering any issues falling under national legislative competence, and nine provincial laws are adopted containing provisions falling under the competence of the provinces. The national law, the "Dienstleistungsgesetz" was announced on 21 November 2011. The corresponding provincial laws all entered into force by early 2012. As a result, Austria was able to report full implementation of the EU Services Directive to the European Commission in the first quarter of 2012.

For more information:

For more information about the implementation of the Services Directive in various European countries, you can watch the information video "Points of Single Contact (→ EC)'' produced by the European Commission (→ EC).

Details about the Directive can be found in the brochure "Die EU-Dienstleistungsrichtlinie – Neue Chancen für Österreichs Wirtschaft (→ WKO)"German text published by the Bundesministerium für Digitalisierung und Wirtschaftsstandort (BMDW) and the Wirtschaftskammer Österreich (WKO).

Further information about the EU Services Directive and the points of single contact (PSC) can be found on the website of the National Services Directive Portal at unter → www.EAP.gv.at..

Translated by the European Commission
last update: 18 January 2021

responsible for content: Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs

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