European Single Market 20 Years

Topics: European Union, Member State of the European Union, United Kingdom Pages: 53 (12556 words) Published: May 4, 2013
20 years
of the European Single Market
Main achievements

Together for new growth

Internal Market and Services

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More information on the European Union is available on the Internet ( Cataloguing data can be found at the end of this publication. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2012 ISBN 978-92-79-25837-4 doi:10.2780/66906 © European Union, 2012 Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged. Printed in Belgium Printed on recycled paper

20 years
of the European Single Market
Together for new growth
Main achievements

20 years of the European Single Market | Main achievements


Foreword by Commissioner Michel Barnier
The European Single Market, which will shortly turn 20, has transformed the way Europeans live, work, travel, do business and study. It has opened up opportunities for businesses to expand successfully on the global market. As President Barroso put it in a recent speech, most of us as young men or women could not have dreamt of what is now possible thanks to the Single Market. This report takes stock of the main achievements of the past 20 years and show how the Single Market has changed the daily lives of 500 million European citizens and more than 21 million European businesses. But this is no time for complacency. Twenty years after 1992, European citizens and companies are still suffering the consequences of an unprecedented series of crises. Unemployment is high, businesses face difficulties accessing funding and populism is on the rise across Europe. The Single Market could be the first victim of the crisis and the protectionist reactions which have emerged as a result of it. However, let us not forget that the Single Market is our main asset to help get us out of the current crisis. This is an opportunity to look forward, and take our Single Market to a new stage. A better functioning Single Market is a necessary precondition for the European growth initiative, which citizens and businesses are expecting. That is the objective of the 50 concrete and operational proposals of the Single Market Act, adopted by the Commission in 2011 with a follow-up in 2012: European passports for venture-capital funds and funds investing in social entrepreneurship, better recognition of professional qualifications, the creation of an EU unitary patent and easier access to public procurement for SMEs, constitute a first step in the right direction.

But we must go further. The Single Market week, which will take place across Europe from 15 to 19 October 2012, is an opportunity to join forces and open a new chapter for the Single Market in 2012. I hope that reading this booklet will stimulate you to play an active part.

© European Commission

Michel Barnier, Member of the European Commission in charge of Internal Market and Services

20 years of the European Single Market | Main achievements


What is the Single Market? Genesis of a Single Market An ever-growing Single Market Europe of free movement: the Schengen Area A single currency to boost the Single Market

7 7 8 9 10

Main macroeconomic achievements and impact
Trade and investment flows The economic and financial crisis A win-win competition policy

13 14 15

Benefits for European citizens
A Single Market for consumers
Telecommunications Internet in everyday life E-commerce Energy Financial services Redress in consumer transactions Product safety Food safety Protecting consumers when shopping

17 18 19 20 21 22 22 23 24

How mobile are EU citizens and workers?
Mobility in practice


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