Business has been saying it. Now 15 EU member state governments are saying it too. The Single Market has not been given the prominence it deserves. And there’s currently a lack of political will to further develop what is widely seen as the EU’s crown jewels.

Companies and countries alike are now demanding that the Single Market be put at the top of the agenda of the incoming European Commission. It is essential for Europe’s long-term competitiveness and strengthening it will bring growth and prosperity for Europe.

In a so-called non-paper or unofficial government position released on Wednesday (drafted by Finland and co-signed by 14 other small and medium size EU member states) the countries state that “competitiveness requires investments in research and innovation, continuous efforts to tackle unnecessary burdens on businesses, particularly SMEs and micro-enterprises, a competitive legislative and policy framework, an attractive business climate and maintenance of a functioning market economy.”

They argue that three things will strengthen the EU’s competitiveness: “a more integrated Single Market, a more prominent role in digital development and an active policy of free and rules-based trade with the rest of the world.”  This chimes with Europe Unlocked’s members and the wider business community.

Meanwhile, Enrico Letta, former Prime Minister of Italy, is preparing a report on the future of the EU Single Market to be presented to the European Council in March 2024. The SOS calls for action to Strengthen Our Single Market are becoming deafening.