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Economic analysis

Economic analysis

The European Commission regularly monitors and analyses the functioning of the EU single market for services. This page contains key economic reports and studies which inform the Commission's policies in this area.

Economic analysis supporting the single market strategy

On 28 October 2015, the Commission presented a new single market strategy to deliver a deeper and fairer single market. The strategy includes a number of actions to further develop the single market for services. The economic analysis below supports this strategy

Economic impact of the services directive

The economic analysis for the single market strategy builds on the findings of a 2012 study on the impact of the services directive. The study found that potential benefits had not yet fully been captured, and that more ambitious implementation of the services directive could yield 1.8% EU GDP growth.

A 2014 update of this study concluded that of the 1.8% EU GDP growth potential identified, national services reforms carried out from 2012-2014 would yield no more than 0.1% EU GDP growth.

This 2014 report by the IMF also looks at the impact of the services directive and potential output and employment gains from further liberalisation of services.

Further economic analysis on services

The Commission has carried out further work on the impact of regulation in different service sectors

  • This 2015 report investigates the impact of market regulation on mark-ups in the communications, energy, professional services and retail sectors, and concludes that lower restrictions contribute to lower prices for consumers
  • This 2014 report investigates the impact of regulation upon the exit and entry of firms in professional services markets, and concludes that lower restrictiveness contributes to greater allocative efficiency and competition between firms

More broadly, economic analysis is also available on the costs of not taking common policy action at a European level ('non-Europe')

  • This 2015 report by the European Parliament investigates the costs of 'non-Europe' across different fields, and estimates the potential benefits for consumers and citizens of delivering and completing the single market at €615 billion per year
  • This 2013 report by London Economics and PwC for the Commission identified a limited number of priority sectors where further integration within the single market was likely to make most significant contribution to sustainable EU growth, and identified specific barriers within them

Regulation in the services sector has wider consequences for industry

Economic analysis of European competitiveness and integration

Between December 2017 and April 2019 the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's science and knowledge service, carried out a number of items of analysis in cooperation with the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. The analysis covers the role of the EU in global manufacturing value chains, EU single market integration and the formation of European value chains, work on restrictive service regulation and its economic impacts (with a focus on retail), and the recent evolution of firm mark-ups in the EU.

Economic analysis of European competitiveness and integration

Single market integration and competitiveness in the EU and its Member States report

This report, and the accompanying studies, provide an in-depth analysis of the state of integration and competitiveness, and their main drivers in the EU and its Member States.

This report replaces the Single market integration report.

Other economic analyses

Towards a foreign direct investment (FDI) attractiveness scoreboard

This 2016 report looks at the attractiveness of EU FDI across sectors and countries.

Identifying levers to unlock clean industry

This study aims to identify the levers to unlock the clean industry sector in the EU. Clean industries are specific sectors or segments within the economy that are directly responsible for supplying technologies, products and services that have measurable environmental benefits in terms of their abilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to improve both energy and resource efficiency. The study will feed into the Commission’s Energy Union Research, Innovation and Competitiveness Strategy (EURICS).

Identifying levers to unlock clean industry: summary report and background report