Reforms or death. The EU single market must change or it will be dead

Former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta was tasked by the EU with preparing proposals to reform the European single market to make it work better and be competitive with big economies such as the US or China. In Brussels Bites podcast of the Czech Radio, he may for the first time reveal everything what will be in his report for the special European Council in April. And adds some strong warnings about what will happen if no changes come.

The European single market is sometimes referred to as a crown jewel of the European Union. But today according to economists and business people, it is fragmented and its functioning is disrupted by various bureaucratic barriers and also by giant national subsidies in countries such as Germany or France. In fact, the European single market is not single at all, Enrico Letta agrees.

„I would like to help companies and first of all SMEs to consider the single market as an opportunity and not to have 27 different bureaucratic systems in front of them, where it is impossible for you if you are a SME to work with a different taxation and legal systems,“ he explains.

Bývalý italský premiér Enrico Letta dostal od Evropské unie pověření připravit návrhy reforem jednotného evropského trhu

„One of the big missions of this report is to eliminate this fragmentation and to fight the overregulation,“ Enrico Letta adds.

In the Brussels Bites, he reveals he will focus on unification of telecommunications, energy and finances in the EU in his recommendations, as well as on how to secure money to transform European economy, so that races in state aid in member states stop.

„We need to invent a tool that allows European interventions, cross borders and not only national, to help European economy to be supported. Otherwise, the support will be only national and that will create the fragmentation that will kill the single market,“ president of the Jacques Delors Institute explains.

„State aids can only be the exception, not the rule. If they become the rule, the single market is dead,“ he points out.

How further does Enrico Letta want to reform the European single market? Why does he advocate a freedom of stay for Europeans? And how he estimates chances that his proposals will land on fertile ground and not under the table? You will find all the answers in this special English edition of the Brussels Bites podcast.

autor: Filip Nerad | zdroj: Český rozhlas
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