The Future Single Market

Time frame: Completed
Project managers: Jörgen Hettne, Monika Hjeds Löfmark and Jonas Eriksson

Europe 2020 is an EU strategy that influences many of SIEPS’s research projects. There is an explicit link between Europe 2020 and the future development of the Internal Market. A recurring theme is that the Internal Market should become a competitive social market economy. A concrete manifestation of Europe 2020 is the so-called Single Market Act, a preliminary version of which was presented in October 2010. It partly represents a follow-up of the so-called Monti Report, presented on 9 May 2009, which in turn followed the Commission’s Communication “Twelve steps to stimulate growth and strengthen confidence in the Internal Market” (Single Market Act I). Within the areas affected by the measures proposed to strengthen the Internal Market, many complex issues are raised. This represents a suitable challenge for researchers whereby their analyses may improve the understanding as well as the quality of future European decisions. These include the reform of the regulatory framework for public procurement and service concessions; the proposal for a new system for European patents; and questions of general interest in the work that is carried out in the aftermath of the Service Directive – including the extended use of the so-called mutual evaluation process within the internal market.

In October 2012, additional proposals were presented as the Single Market Act II. Amongst other things, the new proposals build on the agreement reached at the European Council in June 2012, containing measures aimed at counteracting the economic crisis by promoting economic growth and employment in the EU. An important aspect in this regard pertains to the demographic challenges of an ageing population and the implications this will have for employment in the EU. These issues are at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy. In 2013, SIEPS will publish a comparative study of the elderly in the labour market in a number of European countries.