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20 years Single Market - EuroCommerce congratulates the European Union on this milestone but a lot remains to be done


15 Oct 2012


Trade & Society
EU Priorities 2020

Europe has come a long way since the establishment of the Single Market in 1992, creating new opportunities and benefits for both businesses and consumers. It has torn down barriers to trade and created a level playing field for European businesses. However, Europe is still a long way from a smoothly functioning Single Market, where doing business between Member States is no different than doing business in one Member State. Therefore, immediate actions are needed to make it more conducive for business to sell cross-border, establish and conduct a business in another Member State and enable companies and citizens to fully benefit from a true Single Market.

Commerce plays a key role in the European economy, particularly in terms of its economic contribution and its role as an employer; it is one of the key engines of growth.

EuroCommerce therefore calls on the European Commission and Member States to take action and to:

  • improve the effective enforcement of European legislation,
  • apply the principle of mutual recognition of goods and services within the EU,
  • abolish protectionist and gold-plating laws in many EU countries, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe.

“The very purpose of the Single Market is to remove barriers and simplify rules”, said EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren. “The European Commission must ensure that existing rules are properly implemented and enforced by Member States and that the rules adopted at EU level are consistent with the broader objective of a better functioning Single Market.”

On the freedom to provide goods and services throughout Europe, Christian Verschueren commented, “When a product is legally on sale in the one EU country, it should not have to meet a second set of requirements in another. National authorities should not be able to block the sale of products that do not fulfil all the detailed requirements on their domestic market once they adhere to the standards of another Member State.”

On protectionist laws in Member States, Christian Verschueren said, “EuroCommerce is concerned with attempts by some Member States to limit or prevent the capacity for certain forms of business models to establish themselves. We strongly call on the Commission to take a more active role in retaining the overall responsibility of coordination and intervening in cases of non-compliance with Single Market legislation and principles.”


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