Examples of Single Market barriers for businesses
European companies cherish the Single Market as the bedrock of the EU economy. 30 years is a significant milestone to celebrate, but it is also time for concrete actions for the benefit of citizens and businesses.
On 16 March 2023, the European Commission published its Communication celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Single Market. BusinessEurope welcomes the Commission's acknowledgement of the urgent need to deepen the Single Market. But the proposed actions fall short of addressing barriers to the internal market. For example, 60% of current barriers to the provision of services are of the same type as 20 years and now also hamper the twin transition.
As underlined in a joint industry statement, BusinessEurope reiterates its call to remove all regulatory barriers to cross-border business operations and intra-EU investments, forming a fully-fledged Single Market for all economic activities. According to the European Commission’s estimate, removing barriers to the Single Market for goods and services has the potential to unleash €713 billion by the end of 2029.
Tangible examples of barriers that businesses and citizens face in the Single Market are key to understand the remaining bottlenecks and facilitate informed decision-making. BusinessEurope continues building up the evidence and has updated its series of short papers showcasing practical issues on the ground, which can be used as a package or individually in policy discussions with different interlocutors, as they illustrate barriers across a wide range of different policy areas: from free movement of goods and services to public procurement, company law or transport. The papers supplement the work done by the European Commission in the Single Market Report of 2023, analysing the “root causes” of barriers and are structured around two categories:
- barriers emerging under existing EU legislation, due to its complexity, inconsistencies, uneven interpretation and application by Member States, etc.
- barriers emerging in the absence of EU legislation, where an additional harmonised framework might be necessary.
The examples linked to this introductory note are not an exhaustive list and would be supplemented by new cases in the future.
Please also check the 2022 series and the 2020 series