On 16 January, the EESC plenary session adopted an opinion on "The Single Market Act II – Together for new growth". The text calls for a more realistic approach to Single Market policies. The European Commission should focus more on implementation and less on promoting the sometimes intangible benefits for citizens, claims the EESC.
In particular, the EESC calls for a speedy implementation of the measures proposed in the Communication on the Governance of the Single Market and for swift and high-quality legislative responses to improve the overall implementation of EU rules.
Despite the Single Market's positive contribution to economic growth and the creation of jobs, it has not yet delivered its full potential to all stakeholders (businesses, workers, and citizens at large). The unintended negative side-effects of the Single Market need to be urgently addressed by all institutions. Barriers created on unjustified and discriminatory grounds must be removed to enable the Single Market to function properly. In this context, proper implementation and enforcement of adopted legislation must guarantee a level playing field.
Regrettably, the Single Market Acts I and II do not underscore the importance of ensuring confidence as regards the enforcement of rights. While increasing competition is a key objective of the Single Market policy, consumers also need a robust protective framework. Economic freedoms and competition rules cannot take priority over fundamental social rights and social progress. Therefore, the Committee suggests appending a social progress protocol to the European Treaties reaffirming that the Single Market is not a goal in itself, but was established in order to achieve social progress for all EU citizens.
The Single Market must be based on transparency and accountability, on legal certainty and good governance in line with the legitimate interests of all stakeholders.
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Karin Füssl, Head of the Press Unit
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