Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Single Market Scoreboard 2020: EU countries need to do more to ensure the good functioning of the EU single market

Single Market Scoreboard 2020: EU countries need to do more to ensure the good functioning of the EU single market
Published on: 03/07/2020
Today, the Commission is publishing the Single Market Scoreboard 2020, which shows that despite improvements in certain areas, EU countries need to do more to ensure the proper functioning of the single market.

As experienced during the coronavirus crisis, a well-functioning single market is crucial for ensuring the free movement of supplies across the EU and vital for the swift recovery of the EU economy. The results of this year's scoreboard, which is available as an online tool, highlight the importance of the renewed focus on implementation and enforcement outlined by the Commission's Enforcement Action Plan adopted in March 2020.

Above all, a fully functioning single market needs a partnership between the Commission and EU countries. The newly created Single Market Task Force will be one of the key tools to foster such a collaborative approach between Commission and EU countries.

The Single Market Scoreboard provides a detailed overview of how EU single market rules were applied in the European Economic Area (EEA) in 2019. It evaluates how EU countries have performed as regards market openness, governance tools as well as in specific policy areas, based on a number of selected indicators. The findings are presented in the form of a 'traffic light' chart, by attributing red (below average), yellow (average) and green (above average) cards.

In comparison to the previous year, this year's scoreboard notes a steady situation in most EU countries, but observes a small decline in overall performance. In total, the scoreboard awarded 152 green cards (153 in 2018), 111 yellow cards (137 in 2018) and 61 red cards (59 in 2018). The best performing countries in 2019 were Latvia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, and Slovakia, while least improvements were observed in Spain, Italy, France and Austria.

Other key findings of the 2020 Single Market Scoreboard include

  • Uneven enforcement of single market rules: while EU countries significantly improved the transposition of EU legislation, the number of infringement procedures has grown, partly due to incompletely or incorrectly transposed EU legislation. The scoreboard notes a particular improvement in the enforcement of consumer-related legislation, thanks to the strong coordinating role of the European Commission and the European Consumer Centres Network.
  • Expanded administrative cooperation among EU countries: the use of the Internal Market Information system (IMI), which supports EU countries' administrative cooperation in 16 policy and legal areas, has increased by 52% and now covers 59 cross-border administrative procedures.
  • Steady increase in use of tools helping citizens and businesses benefit from the single market: the number of citizens using the Your Europe information portal and the Your Europe Advice services has drastically increased (+48% for Your Europe with 35 million visits and +52% for Your Europe Advice with 35,000 enquires). The caseload of SOLVIT, an informal problem-solving tool, increased by 4% overall.
  • More work needed in specific policy areas: further improvements are needed to ensure the free movement of professionals, especially to ensure more decisions recognising professional qualifications. The public procurement performance of EU countries continues to be uneven, in particular as regards contracts awarded to single bidders.

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