Cooperation and reforms to strengthen the EU Single Market

Employment and Social Affairs

Estimated time of reading: ~ 1 minutes  

The EU Single Market has had a huge impact on everyday life for European citizens, allowing people to travel and work freely around the EU. At the same time, goods, services, and money started moving around with the same ease as citizens, creating opportunities for consumers within the EU. Thirty years after the creation of the EU Single Market, the benefits of this mechanism are one of the key features of European life and an important driver of the European integration process. On a global stage, the EU Single Market sets a benchmark for European products and services, projecting standards and values abroad. 

Back in 1993, markets around the world were not as interconnected as they are today. From this perspective, the EU Single Market can also protect European companies from possible side-effects of globalization, like economic instability and shocks in the supply chains, as we saw with the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions. In other words, the Single Market can be considered the EU’s driver of resilience, both in the short-term as well as in the long term, as it helps to address the strategic dependencies of the block and develop capacities. For the future, we need an EU Single Market stronger than ever, in light of potential crises and threats.

As it can bee seen in the last few years, increasing geopolitical tensions, economic competition among superpowers, and new pandemics can generate issues far more pressing than the ones imagined by the EU leaders thirty years ago. Member States have now the task of redefining a new set of reforms to simplify administrative procedures within the bloc and increase cross-border cooperation, in order to give new impetus to European economies and at the same time strengthen the EU strategic autonomy.

As Brexit has shown, the benefits from the Single Market are far greater than its flaws, and it is in the interest of every single EU member and their workers, employers, and consumers to bolster rather than undermine the Single Market integration.

Written by: Francesco Marino

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