There is lot of work ahead to complete the Single Market – but it is worth it

© Sebastiano Fancellu/Fotolia

Europe needs strong, internationally competitive industrial policies to create jobs, prosperity and growth. An integrated EU industrial policy must set the right parameters for this. The German industrial sector generates more than one quarter of the European Union’s total gross industrial value added. This means that it is very much in Germany’s interest to have policies that set the right parameters at European level for an internationally competitive industrial sector.

Reasonable economic policy does not mean that the state gets involved in enterprises or subsidises competitively weak sectors. Instead, good parameters for innovation and production must be created in order to promote growth and employment. EU regulation, particularly in environmental, climate and consumer protection and in social sectors, must not be allowed to place additional unnecessary or excessive burdens on the economy.  

Completing the EU internal market remains an ongoing task. After all, an EU internal market that operates smoothly makes an important contribution to the strategy for growth and employment. The European Parliament estimates that a complete internal market would generate millions of additional jobs and around 1.6 Trillion euros in value added. A common digital market would account for 415 billion euros in value added per year, and an Energy Union would account for 250 billion euros.

These agendas will be very important in the near future. Similarly, the Investment Plan for Europe must move forward in order to correct weak investment in the EU. Real investment as well as investment in human capital and in research and development will boost growth potential and secure jobs in the future. The Capital Markets Union will also be part of this. It will integrate and deepen the individual national capital markets to improve financing options, particularly for start-ups and medium-sized enterprises.

Common strategies to complete the internal market are not enough in themselves. Member states have an obligation too. EU law must be implemented on time, without national gold-plating. In addition, we call on the EU and member countries to create a simple, coherent and stable regulatory environment that places the lightest possible burdens on businesses and facilitates their economic activity instead of restricting it.