© Pexels/Jiawei Wen


Strong Impulses for the Single Market

A fully integrated single market could bring the EU up to 1.1 trillion euros in additional value added. In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU can no longer leave this enormous potential for its 27 national economies untapped. BDI is reiterating its long-standing demand to put the single market back at the centre of national and European policy.

The Single Market is Europe’s foundation for growth, employment and prosperity. It also preserves the continent’s political influence in the world. However, the competitiveness of our industry and the strategic autonomy of our societies can only be ensured in the long term if the single market is continuously developed and deepened.

The German government and the EU institutions have committed themselves to further deepen the single market for years. However, in reality a political stalemate prevails in many areas. On the one hand, the European Commission lacks a holistic strategy for the future of the single market at the horizontal European level that links its different policies across all departments. On the other hand, national governments all too often use supposed sensitivities of their national markets as an excuse to block or water down necessary initiatives from Brussels.

Massive potential remains untapped

As a result, the untapped economic potential of a fully completed single market remains enormous. According to calculations, the EU is missing out on a total of around 1.1 trillion euros, or up to 8.6 per cent of the EU's GDP. In the service sector alone, the potential amounts to more than 330 billion euros annually, or 2.4 per cent of EU GDP. In the area of cross-border trade in goods, the potential is estimated at up to 269 billion euros or up to 1.8 per cent of EU GDP. A digital single market would generate an additional 110 billion euros per year in economic power.

German industry demands immediate action

From the point of view of German industry, the political inaction of the past years is no longer justifiable and endangers prosperity and growth - and sooner or later also Europe's role and influence in the world. Against this background, BDI developed a position paper in which it presents a total of sixty concrete recommendations for action in nine strategic policy areas, including for goods and industry-related services, digitalisation, the circular economy, as well as transport, mobility, taxation and public procurement. These recommendations are intended to support both national and European decision-makers in finally putting their promises for "more Europe" into practice.