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Taking stock of the single market - 31/03/2011

Workers passing through walls with EU stars © EU

Most EU countries continue to meet deadlines for incorporating single market rules into national law, contributing to economic growth and job creation.

EU single market rules must become national law within an agreed period. The latest "internal market scoreboard " shows that EU countries are performing well.

The single market is a cornerstone of the EU - helping people, goods, services and capital move freely throughout the European Union. A twice-yearly report tracks member countries’ progress in implementing the rules.

The results

Latest figures show that, on average, 0.9% of single market directives for which the implementation deadline has passed are not yet written into national law. Although the 1% target set by EU leaders in 2007 is being met overall, seven member countries still fall short.

Delays in EU rules becoming national law have also dropped, along with the number of instances where countries fail to properly incorporate rules into national law.

Helping EU citizens and companies

Free guidance and problem-solving tools developed by the Commission have also helped people moving to different EU countries. If you have a problem relating to residence permits, registering a car or social security and tax rights, for example, you can contact Your Europe or SOLVIT for help.

Your Europe is an online portal offering practical information on your rights and opportunities if you are moving within the EU. SOLVIT is an online network to deal with complaints - it tries to offer a solution within ten weeks.

Boosting economic recovery

Timely and effective implementation of EU legislation is vital, particularly in difficult times. It increases companies’ ability to compete in global markets and makes Europe more attractive to foreign investors.

Over the last 15 years the single market has helped the EU’s gross domestic product grow by 2.15%, increased trade and helped small businesses expand. It also serves an essential stimulus for growth and jobs through the promotion of mobility, competitiveness and innovation.

More on the EU single market

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