Threats and obstacles to the Single Market (own-initiative opinion)

EESC opinion: Threats and obstacles to the Single Market (own-initiative opinion)


  • stresses the importance of cross-border mobility for businesses and workers and the need to fight against unfair and illegal practices associated with the cross-border provision of services and to ensure fair competition in the interests of business too;
  • calls for a better balance between market freedoms and basic social rights in primary law;
  • welcomes efforts to check EU law for efficiency; harmonised legislation should thus be checked for necessity, specifically in the interests of SMEs;
  • underlines its view that the digital single market should be a policy priority given its huge growth potential. Existing legal uncertainties in the areas of employment, the economy and consumer affairs need to be examined and removed without delay;
  • calls for a clear legal framework for new forms of economy and new business models in the single market, including various forms of the sharing economy, with a view to closing regulatory gaps;
  • reiterates its view that regulatory gaps in taxation policy lead to unfair competition in the single market;
  • considers that services of general interest play a key role in the social market economy and are essential for the general public. They have a place among the EU's shared values, playing a part in fostering social and territorial cohesion. This role should be taken into account as part of the "principles and conditions" which the EU can establish for these services;
  • calls for measures to tackle unfair practices in public procurement, which push tenders below a fair standard, sometimes fail to comply with minimum-wage requirements in force in the respective national legal provisions and practices and, in many cases, result in high cost overruns. The aim must be to apply the best tender principle, not that of the lowest bid.

Other relevant EESC opinions:



Citizens-oriented approach to Single market
Obstacles to the Single market
Taking stock of the EESC recommendations on Single market policies