What are the origins of Europe’s internal market and which reforms are planned? Our series “Looking back, looking ahead” seeks to answer these questions on the occasion of the Informal Videoconference of EU ministers responsible for competitiveness on 23 October, 2020.
Europe’s common internal market is one of the most important forces behind the European Union’s cohesion. Based on the four pillars of free movement, it allows goods, services, capital and people to move between member states. As one of the world’s biggest single markets with no tariffs between member countries, it makes life easier for over 450 million European consumers and facilitates trade between businesses, including around 22 million small and medium sized enterprises. It also fuels growth, inspires innovation and creates jobs.
The single market also makes the EU a more important trading partner, in a world where individual European nations find it difficult to compete with countries with continent-sized economies, such as the US and China.