The world’s largest trading block celebrates 30 years

The world’s largest trading block celebrates 30 years

The European Single Market celebrates its 30th anniversary with initiatives to strengthen it and ensure its viability

On 1 January 1993, a landmark initiative for the success of the European Union was launched: the European Single Market. It was created to allow the free movement of goods, services, people and capital across the European Union, which has greatly facilitated business opportunities and personal fulfilment for Europe’s citizens.

The Single European Market was originally made up of the twelve EU countries, and today it is made up of the 27 Member States, plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland with partial access. 

Thanks to this economic integration, the Single European Market offers businesses an audience of around 450 million potential consumers, stimulating competition and trade. It also provides its citizens with better job opportunities and a wider choice of products and services. 

The work programme of the European Single Market

Every seven years the Council and the European Parliament adopt a work programme for the single market, and in April 2021 the 2021-2027 programme was established with a budget of EUR 4,200 million. Within this framework, initiatives are developed to improve the functioning of the Single Market through the following objectives:

· Supporting the competitiveness of European enterprises, especially SMEs.

· To develop European quality standards.

· Protecting and empowering consumers.

· Increasing the efficiency of the European Single Market.

· To finance quality statistics.

· Promoting the health of citizens, animals and plants.

Its most recent achievements

The European Single Market has proven to be an essential platform for integration in every sense. The last few years have shown this:

· It has been a key tool in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, with a common and coordinated approach that kept internal borders open by ensuring the supply of vaccines and medical equipment in member countries.

· In the Ukraine-Russia war and the ensuing REPowerEU plan, the capacity of the single market is used to jointly procure other energy sources to eliminate dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

· In the framework of the European Green Deal, the European Single Market is key to the success of the EU’s green and digital transition, because the European Industrial Strategy accompanies industry in these transitions.

Throughout 2023, various exhibitions and campaigns will be held to engage European citizens in the debate about their future, so stay tuned!