EU Single Market turns 30

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The Single Market has led to an unprecedented market integration between Member State economies, serving as a driver for growth and competitiveness, said the European Commission to mark its 30th anniversary.

“Established on 1 January 1993, the European Single Market allows goods, services, people and capital to move around the EU freely, making life easier for people and opening up new opportunities for businesses,” said the Commission.

It helped accelerate the development of new Member States that joined the EU and has more recently been essential in helping Europe deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and the energy crisis resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Thanks to the Single Market, the EU has been able to improve the lives of all Europeans, including by accelerating the transition to a greener and more digital economy, guaranteeing high safety, leading global technological standards and responding to recent crises with unprecedented speed and determination.

“To ensure that the Single Market remains a common good that delivers for all people in the EU, the Commission continuously works on its development in new areas and ensures that the rules which are already in place work in practice for this purpose.”

The Commission is showcasing the significant achievements and benefits of the Single Market while also identifying implementation gaps and future priorities.

Commission Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, said the past two years have shown that Europe’s ability to absorb shocks and overcome crises relies on a strong Single Market.

“For this reason, the European Commission has proposed a Single Market Emergency Instrument to be able to take action together to ensure that it also works in times of crisis.”

European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said the Single Market is much more than just a legal framework and needs to be continuously preserved, improved and re-invented.

“First, by ensuring that the rules that have been agreed upon collectively are also applied collectively; second, by putting SMEs at the centre of Europe’s competitiveness; and third, by ensuring that people and businesses have access to the goods and services they need when they need them.

“The Single Market gave the European Union a continental scale and therefore the capacity to project itself onto the global stage. Today, in its 30th anniversary, the Single Market gives me confidence and determination to face the challenges ahead.”