EU targets 12 priority measures to make its single market work better for consumers, workers and businesses.
Over the past two decades, increasing economic integration in the EU has been one of the main drivers of growth and job creation in the bloc.
Even so, the EU economy has still not fully exploited the opportunities opened up as barriers have come down. The Commission has identified 12 priority measures to improve mobility for workers and businesses. These are measures most likely to foster growth and employment by helping people, goods, services and capital to move more freely throughout the EU.
A more integrated market will also help EU countries meet current social and economic challenges and speed up recovery from the global financial crisis.
The priorities are:
- helping small- and medium businesses get easier access to financing by allowing venture capital funds to invest in any EU country
- revising laws so professional qualifications are recognised throughout the EU - reducing the barriers to employment in another country
- creating a single European patent for intellectual property and inventions - cutting costs and red tape for businesses
- establishing procedures to resolve disputes out of court when consumers encounter a problem after buying goods or services in another EU country, including on the internet
- introducing Europe-wide standards for the services sector
- improving energy, transport and communications infrastructure by identifying strategic networks for targeted investment
- legislating the mutual recognition of electronic identification and authentication methods to boost internet use between individuals, businesses and public administrations
- encouraging social entrepreneurship by developing investment funds for companies pursuing social, ethical or environmental goals
- adapting taxes on the energy industry to meet the EU's climate and energy goals
- strengthening the rules for workers posted by their companies to another EU country
- simplifying accounting guidelines for companies and cutting red tape - with a focus on small businesses
- making it easier for small firms to compete for government contracts in other EU countries
Measures will be taken over the next two years based on these priorities. The Commission has already made proposals on an EU-wide patent and adjusting energy taxation .
More on EU economic integration
Single European Market Act