Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

On Monday 16 January, The Swedish Minister for EU Affairs Jessika Roswall held a speech in Strasbourg during the European Parliament’s Ceremony on the 30th Anniversary of the Single Market. During the plenary session, Ms Roswall spoke about EU competitiveness, which is one of the Government’s priorities during its Presidency. Check against delivery.

President, Honourable Members, Commissioner,

The Single Market and its four freedoms are one of the biggest achievements of the European Union. Over the last three decades, the Single Market has proven to be powerful driver for competitiveness, cohesion among Member States and prosperity for our citizens.

Today, the Single Market counts over 450 million consumers who have access to a wide selection of goods, services, and better job opportunities across the EU.

Consumers benefit from our Single Market rules, which ensure safe and high-quality products and services. These rules have in many cases become international standards, reinforcing the EU’s role as a norm setter at global level.

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The Single Market is also a driver for innovation. Europe has managed shortages of products during times of crisis by encouraging innovation and diversifying supply chains across Europe.

As we come out of the Covid-19 crisis and its effect on supply chains, we now face a series of challenges to our economy as a result of Russia’s war of aggression. In light of this, it is important to recall that a well-functioning Single Market is our best ally for a competitive and resilient European economy.

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The Single Market is not a finished project – and will never be. More work is needed to deepen it, to remove remaining barriers, and to prevent new ones from emerging.

In the current global economic context, we cannot waste this opportunity.

Looking ahead, the Single Market is also our main instrument for achieving the green and digital transitions. The ingredients of our success of the last thirty years – common regulations, standard setting, mutual recognition, consumer protection, level playing field, innovation – are the ingredients for successfully mastering this twin transition as well.

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As regards the digital transition, new rules and regulations for the digital age have already been adopted – including the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act – and many more will be adopted shortly. Such rulebooks, if wisely designed, will make Europe a global standard setter for the digital world.

Digital companies within the services economy are the perfect example of why we need a fully functioning Single Market with harmonised rules – because there are no physical borders in the digital economy.

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The Single Market is also instrumental to reach the objective of climate neutrality by 2050. The EU needs to be a frontrunner in the green transition and make sure that Fit for 55 is fully implemented.

That’s a reason why we will prioritise both the green transition and competitiveness during the Swedish Presidency. Only a bit more than a month ago we invited the European Parliaments Conference of Presidents to Stockholm and last week the College of Commissioners to Kiruna in the north of Sweden to see the green transition in practice and how it is a business opportunity for Europe.

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The 30th anniversary of the Single Market will continue to be highlighted during the Swedish Presidency of the Council. The EU needs a new, long-term plan and a vision for how the Single Market can be a strong and sustainable engine for jobs, entrepreneurship, and sustainable growth over the next thirty years.

Let us work together to achieve this.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Source – Swedish EU Presidency

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