EBS highlights importance of EU single market

Written by Martin Banks on 23 May 2017 in Event Coverage
Event Coverage

The European Business Summit was told on Monday that the EU's single market is supporting millions of jobs and boosting competitiveness throughout Europe.

EU flag | Photo credit: Fotolia


A debate on the single market on the opening day of the two-day event heard that the freedom of movement also benefits millions of students studying in Europe.

The single market has hit the headlines of late because of the debate over whether the UK should continue to have access to an EU-wide market when it withdraws from the EU.

The EBS debate heard that GDP across all member states is 1.7 per cent higher as a result of the single market than it would otherwise be.


RELATED CONTENT


Susan Danger, CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU, said that some 4.5million jobs are supported by American companies in Europe as a result of them having access to the single market. 

She said, "Access to the single market benefits not just the type of big companies we represent but also countless SMEs. The single market is important for them as well."

Roger Vickerman, the dean for Europe at the University of Kent, said that young people attached great importance to the single market and the freedom of movement it provides.

"It means young people at universities like mine can come together to learn from each other. This is critically important," he said.

Marcus Navin-Jones, of Keller and Heckman, highlighted the importance of the single market to the chemicals industry, saying it was critical to the sector remaining competitive.

The one-hour session, titled, 'The future of the single market', heard that Brexit was just one of the challenges and possible threats facing the single market.

The summit was also told that for all its achievements, the single market still has gaps that remain to be filled.

Full harmonisation, it was said, still has to take place across a range of sectors and policy areas including digital, capital markets, energy and defence procurement. 

In digital, for example, only 15 per cent of all EU consumers buy online from another EU country whereas nearly 44 per cent do so domestically. 

The Commission estimates that completing the internal energy market would provide between €16bn and €40bn of net economic benefits per year.

A study presented to the summit said that Europe has been slower to consolidate defence industries than the US.

"The result," said the report, "is that Europe has 17 battle tank systems in service compared with just one in the US and 29 types of frigate and destroyer compared with just four in the US navy."

EBS has grown to become the largest debating and networking platform in Europe and this year's summit is the 17th edition since its inception.

Some 200 high-level speakers, including 10 EU commissioners, international CEOs, MEPs and civil society representatives met to debate the role the business community can play in shaping the future of Europe.

Held annually in Brussels, the 2016 edition of EBS attracted 2,400 delegates, including eight European commissioners and the presidents of the European Commission, Parliament and Council.

 

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine

Interested in this content?

Sign up to our free daily email bulletins.

 

Share this page

Tags

Categories

Related Articles

Concluding EU-Japan trade talks must be top priority
26 June 2017

Concluding the EU-Japan trade agreement would benefit both sides, explains Pedro Silva Pereira.

Issue 458 | 26 June 2017
23 June 2017

Brexit talks begin, Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, Future-Proofing Workers Rights, Skin Cancer, Antimicrobial Resistance, EU-Japan Trade, Future Internet, Arms Export Control, 5...

Celebrating the achievements of our outstanding women engineers
22 June 2017

The attention gained by International Women in Engineering Day is helping get the message out that engineering, mechanical and technical jobs are for girls too, explains Anthea McIntyre.

Related Partner Content

PM+: Public-private partnerships can help drive down unemployment
22 April 2015

EU policymakers should support measures to enhance cooperation between public and private employment services argues Eurociett's Denis Pennel.

How to employ energy-efficient urban regeneration? A FosterREG response
3 May 2017

Urban regeneration is not an easy task, but when sustainable energy is involved, it becomes more complicated. FosterREG shows how to overcome difficulties, says Paweł Nowakowski.