On 12th December 2006 the Council and the European Parliament adopted the long expected Directive on services in the internal market (2006/123/EC). The main objective of the directive is to facilitate the free circulation of services by removing key barriers to the freedom of establishment for providers of services and to the free movement of services itself. This paper deals with several crucial issues concerning this new Community development. First, it briefly summarizes the present state of the freedom to provide services, taking into account both Community doctrine and the ECJ's jurisprudence and showing main problems connected with practical operation of this freedom. Then the main reasons of growing importance of the services' sector, namely its economic importance and the broad scope of the freedom to provide services are identified and examined. It is later pointed out, that facing this increasing significance of the free movement of services, Community law does not guarantee enough protection for those who want to provide cross-border services. This leads to the conclusion that a community secondary legislation is highly necessary. From this perspective, the arrival of the new Community legislation is highly appreciated. Thorough analysis conducted in this paper leads to the conclusion that the new directive does not solve all the problems relating to the freedom to provide services. Much will depend on the way of its implementation and on the forthcoming jurisprudence of the ECJ.
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