EurActiv.com Correspondent's Choice

This story about the EU single market was published by EurActiv on 11th May 2010.

The EU’s 20-year-old single market is at a critical juncture and needs to be fully completed to further boost Europe’s crisis-battered European productivity and competitiveness, reveals a report presented yesterday (10 May) by former Italian Commissioner Mario Monti, who was tasked with coming up with a comprehensive new strategy.

On the basis of an extensive consultation process, Monti has drawn a map of new legislative proposals to improve the EU’s single market that the Commission should present by July.

Presenting his report to European Commission President José Manuel Barroso before the European Parliament’s internal market committee yesterday, Monti urged the EU to remove the remaining bottlenecks that are hampering innovation and dampening Europe’s growth potential.

“There is now a window of opportunity to bring back the political focus of the single market,” he argued.

Fighting economic nationalism

His report proposes a new strategy to safeguard the bloc’s free trade area from the risk of economic nationalism and to extend it into new areas that are key to Europe’s growth.

“Many policies traditionally not regarded as policies for the single market have to be integrated into a single market strategic objective,” he stressed, outlining new initiatives to build a stronger market.

These include creating a digital single market, and harnessing the potential of the system that is already in place to support green growth and Europe’s transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy.

Much has been done since the launch of the single market in 1992, but Europeans have not fully exploited its potential in many areas, including free circulation of persons, goods and services. A lot of work remains to ensure effective geographical labour mobility, said Monti.

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