Single Market needs renewed commitment and enforcement
Press release - Competitiveness & Single Market
16 March 2023
Today’s Communication, “The Single Market at 30” by the European Commission, provides some good ideas for improving Single Market governance. Retailers and wholesalers need a robust Single Market as the bedrock for a more competitive Europe and a renewed commitment by member states. They need stronger enforcement to ensure a level playing field for businesses with adequate consumer protection says EuroCommerce, the association representing retailers and wholesalers in Europe.
Commenting on the Communication, Christel Delberghe, Director General at EuroCommerce, stated:
“To ensure the success of the Single Market for another 30 years there is no question that we need a step-change in ambition. This is especially the case for services where Single Market barriers remain and are, in fact, rapidly increasing. We need a concrete action plan to tackle these barriers and ensure stronger enforcement. This would support the EU’s long-term competitiveness and investment goals in parallel.”
The commitment of the member states is critical to ensure a robust future for the Single Market. It also requires the commitment of all stakeholders to stop fragmenting the Single Market through deliberate strategies that prevent retailers from bringing the benefits of the Single Market to consumers or which stop the operation of retail alliances doing the same in clear violation of Single Market rules.
EuroCommerce welcomes the Commission’s proposal to create a Single Notification Window for Member States. As with the Transparency Directive, notifications should be made before the adoption of a national measure, they should be public and enable stakeholders and other member states to provide comments. The Single Market Scoreboard shows that 11 out of 27 member states have not yet submitted any notifications so far in 2023.
The association is also looking forward to the European Commission’s more detailed plans regarding the SME Relief Package, the Competitiveness Proofing Toolkit and further coordination among member states via expert groups to complement this Communication.
EuroCommerce believes that state aid and subsidies need to create short-term incentives to invest in the twin transition of sustainability and digitalisation. The retail and wholesale sector plays a key role as a major user and potential producer of, e.g., renewable energy. However, the EU’s and retailers’ and wholesalers’ long-term economic viability depends heavily on structural reforms, including a well-functioning Single Market to ensure the EU’s competitiveness globally.