- The EU single market was established in 1993 and accounts for 56 million jobs in Europe
- Serious challenges faced by the internal market today require transformation and renewed political commitment
- A well-functioning single market is an key on the path to strategic autonomy and resilience
The draft text recalls that the single market has always developed and it must transform itself again to address new challenges and continue being a motor for EU integration.
On the occasion of the upcoming 30th anniversary of the EU single market, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee adopted on Monday a draft resolution (34 votes in favour, none against and 4 abstentions), outlining the most pressing challenges facing the single market today and recommendations on the way forward.
The European single market is the backbone of the economy
The EU single market is the “engine of European integration and the backbone of its economy” according to Internal Market MEPs. It is the world’s largest internal market and accounts for 56 million jobs in Europe, and 25% of EU GDP. Three decades since its creation, it continues to be a key path for Europe – leading to peace, stability and prosperity. MEP warn however that this cannot be taken for granted in light of the serious obstacles faced by the EU today – from the long-term geopolitical conflicts to climate change.
Serious challenges for the integrity of the single market
The draft resolution underlines the serious impact Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic had on the integrity of the single market, particularly to the free movement of goods, services and workers. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has put the resilience of the single market to another test, which has emphasised the importance of unity and cooperation between member states. The new Single Market Emergency Instrument (SMEI) is thus key to prevent supply chain shortages and the good functioning of the single market in times of crisis.
The text outlines several recently adopted laws that enhance consumer protection and the wellbeing of European citizens, including the Digital Markets Act, Digital Services Act and common charger rules for electronic devices. MEPs remain committed to delivering good results and putting humans at the core of the forthcoming EU rules on artificial intelligence, data and cyber resilience, which are key in shaping the digital transition of the single market and enhancing EU’s lead in pioneering technologies. They also call again on the Commission to “come up swiftly” with its announced legislative proposal on right to repair.
Crucial moment to strengthen the single market
In order to strengthen and update the single market, Internal Market MEPs believe that renewed commitment from member states and EU institutions and strong political will is required, as well as a new action plan for 2030 and beyond. They consider that the single market policy should not only be about reducing barriers, but to rather guide the EU towards further development based on common values.
In addition, MEPs advocate for a stronger external dimension of the single market and preserving EU’s strategic independence, as well as a more strategic approach to EU standards, in particular in the digital domain. For the single market to function properly and to boost consumer protection, MEPs call on the Commission to continue looking into new digital trends, such as virtual worlds, and to work towards creating of a true single market for energy and for telecommunication services.
Finally, the adopted text underlines the importance of “effective, timely and correct” application and enforcement of the single market rules by member states, which is crucial to strengthen consumer trust and create a level playing field between all businesses.
Read the draft motion for resolution here.
The final motion for resolution will be adopted at the January 2023 plenary session in Strasbourg, following a debate with Council and Commission.
Since its creation in 1993, the single market has helped to make everyday life easier for people and businesses, fuelling jobs and growth across the EU. It ensures free movement of goods, services, capital and persons in a single EU internal market and is considered one of the EU’s greatest achievements.