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Next steps for Europe's single market - 03/10/2012

New proposals on further economic integration among EU countries will benefit consumers, workers and businesses.

The proposals are in addition to a first set of 12 priority actions identified in 2011 to improve how the single market works.

These are measures most likely to foster growth and employment by helping people, goods, services and capital to move more easily throughout the EU.

More integration would also help speed up the EU’s recovery from the global financial crisis. New proposals under the Single Market Act II would:

  • open domestic rail passenger services to competitors from other EU countries – improving quality and reducing prices
  • eliminate complex administrative procedures for goods shipped between seaports within the EU – making EU maritime transport more competitive with rail, road and air
  • accelerate progress towards EU level management of Europe’s airspace through the Single European Skyincreasing safety and reducing costs to airlines by about €5 billion a year
  • enforce current measures to open domestic energy markets – saving consumers up to €13 billion a year
  • improve companies’ access to long-term financing – helping start- ups and small businesses grow
  • revise EU insolvency rules – giving viable businesses and entrepreneurs a second chance
  • make online payment services more efficient – encouraging more consumers to shop over the Internet
  • reduce the cost of deploying high speed Internet – increasing access to broadband services
  • make electronic invoicing standard for government purchases – saving the public sector about €1 billion a year
  • improve product safety rules and checks at the EU’s borders – keeping unsafe and harmful goods from reaching consumers
  • give everyone the right to have a basic payment account with a bank, ensure bank account fees are transparent and comparable, and make switching banks easier.

Next steps

Single Market Week (15 20 October) marks 2 decades of increasing EU integration, and the new proposals will be discussed at national events across Europe.

The Commission will call on EU leaders and the European Parliament to adopt specific proposals as a priority by spring 2014.

EU single market – general policy framework

Single Market Act

20 years of the single market

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