Single Market

Related Theme: Enterprises and Industry

It may be one of the EU’s most important achievements, but the Single Market still has its stumbling blocks. Since its launch in 1992, the EESC has been closely involved in efforts to make the Single Market fully functional, for the benefit of European society.

The EESC’s Section for Single Market, Production and Consumption (INT) works to oil the wheels and complete the Single Market by preparing opinions that express the views of all elements of organised civil society. This means promoting the rights not only of manufacturers, service-providers and workers, but also of the ‘end-users’: the consumers.

The EESC’s Single Market Observatory (SMO) was set up in 1994 with the specific task of monitoring the Single Market, identifying obstacles and recommending solutions.

You can find links to all our opinions and other activities on the Single Market in the red and green boxes on this page.


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  • Published In: 2015
    54 pages
    Study on the key factors affecting the future growth of Europe

    "Achieving sustainable growth in a competitive world is challenging. The challenge is even greater for the European Union, as the Old Continent faces a severe competitiveness deficit.  Without entering into a health review, that could be delivered at a further stage, of each of the 28 Member States, the ambition of this study is to draw-up a comprehensive picture of EU economic growth.

  • Published In: 2014
    78 pages
    Smart Governance of the internal market for business

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential for governance improvements in the internal market with a view to removing bureaucratic hurdles for business. Its conclusion is that the European Commission, although active in cutting red tape in EU legislation, is not intervening yet in the case of gold-plating, which is over-compliance at the national/regional/local level. A key problem with gold-plating is precisely its tendency to overlap across multiple layers of competence. Gold-plating does happen and in certain cases undermines European competitiveness.

  • Published In: 2014
    4 pages
    Access to EU finance for SMEs - what can we learn from Greece?

    Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the EU economy. According to Commission estimates, the overall contribution of SMEs to EU-27 value added was more than 57% (EUR 3.4 trillion) in 2012. Although the role of SMEs in the EU economy is crucial and their well being should be a priority for European policymakers, they struggle with access to finance, especially in the countries severely hit by the crisis. The Greek experience can and should be taken as a case study and conclusions drawn on how to improve the system for the future. The publication summarises the discussion on access to finance for SMEs that took place in April 2014 during the extraordinary meeting of the Employers' Group in Kyllini, Greece.

  • Published In: 2014
    12 pages
    10th anniversary of EU enlargement

    In 2004 the European Union experienced its biggest enlargement so far, welcoming 10 new Member States. A decade later, members of the Employers' Group representing employers' organisations from these countries summarise the changes that have taken place thanks to accession to the EU.

  • Published In: 2014
    28 pages
    Report - The workings of the Services Directive in the construction sector

    The pilot study on "The workings of the Services Directive in the construction sector" carried out by the Single Market Observatory (SMO) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) was presented at the EESC Plenary on 30 April 2014.

    The report in all languages, a short video presentation by Mr Siecker, president of the Section for the Single Market, Production and Consumption (INT), the preliminary evaluation of the replies to the questionnaire and the staff working paper are available on our website:

  • Published In: 2013
    6 pages
    Presentation Section for the Single Market, Production and Consumption

    Completion of the Single Market is one element necessary for the European venture to succeed. The EESC has a key role to play here, for the good of both consumers and business. To this end, the EESC set up a Single Market Observatory (SMO) in 1994, with the support of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council. The SMO is made up of 33 members representing European civil society organisations. Its aim is to monitor how the Single Market operates in practice, identify where the problems are and help legislators remedy existing shortcomings.

  • Published In: 2012
    12 pages
    A citizens-orientated approach to the Single Market
    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted in February 2012 an opinion on “A people-orientated, grassroots approach to the Single Market”. In parallel, the EFTA Consultative Committee (EFTA CC) adopted an opinion on “A citizen’s approach to the Single Market” which focuses on the need to promote the awareness and confidence of workers, business and consumers in the Single Market. The EFTA CC and the SMO stressed the importance of a coordinated effort by all 30 EEA States to increase citizens’ participation in the Single Market.


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