Your story makes a difference competition.

This competition is organized jointly by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the future Polish Presidency of the Council within the framework of the Single Market Forum:

The goal of this competition is to collect “real evidences” of the use of the Single Market by their main actors (citizens, consumers, SMEs) from all Member States. These stories will serve as a starting point of the discussions in the Single Market Forum.

The organizers seek for real-life stories of European citizens, consumers and enterprises. Do you face problems within the European Single Market: working and living abroad, travelling, taxation, cross-border business, etc. ?

Citizens and businesses of all EU Member States and who are at least 18 years old at the time of registration may submit their stories.

Selection of stories
The final 5 selected stories should respond to the following requirements:

Selected stories should present citizens/businesses acting in cross border situations, facing obstacles to the proper functioning of the single market. It should be possible to overcome obstacles by efforts undertaken by one or more single market actors (legislative measures, enforcement, better guidance, changed administrative practice, etc.).

The best five stories and their protagonists will be filmed in a short clip and the authors will be invited to come to Cracow and to witness the presentation of their stories to the Forum. The winners will have the unique opportunity to meet people who can actually make the Single Market work for them. Travel and accommodation costs will be completely covered.

The story should concern a real barrier, not just an inconvenience inherent in cross border activities (language, cultural differences, distance). Economic and/or vital consequences for the concerned individual/organisation should be considerable.

Good stories
• Difficulties to have a professional qualification or a diploma recognised in another Member State
• Difficulties to claim and/or secure a continuity of social security and pension benefits when moving abroad
• Difficulties encountered by third country partners of EU nationals when trying to obtain a residence permit in another Member State
• Unjustified situations of ‘double taxation’ encountered by mobile workers / selfemployed persons
• Burdensome procedures for setting up a business abroad
• Problems related to cross-border on-line shopping (perceived problems with payment fraud, difficult access to means of redress, territorial restrictions)

Bad stories:
• Business from Member State A wins no public contracts in Member State B because of different languages used in the 2 Member States (inconvenience rather than obstacle)
• Student confronted with tuition fees at university in other Member State which are higher than in his own Member State (outside EU responsibility)

Stories can be submitted until 24 June 2011, whereafter the jury will select 5 finalists.

Read more about the terms and conditions:

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