The EU should focus on removing trade barriers. Such measures are vital to ensure Swedish businesses have the necessary conditions to operate and grow.
The Single Market has reached many significant milestones, but its continued evolution is far from over and still ongoing. The experience of the pandemic and now the war in Ukraine have demonstrated that free movement must be safeguarded, says Cemille Üstün, Director EU Single Market policy at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.
The EU Single Market marking its 30th anniversary in 2023, is an excellent occasion to remind ourselves of the opportunities created by the Single Market for citizens and businesses of all sizes based on co-operation between member states. It is an outstanding achievement.
According to Üstün, the EU influences conditions for all Swedish companies – whether they trade in the Single Market or not – as general legislation, product requirements and standards are decided at European level.
– Sweden needs to actively work for changes to the Single Market, changes for improvements – which is the purpose of this initiative. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise’s push for an open and competitive Single Market contains policy positions and proposals on how the Single Market should be developed, with improvements to the free movement of goods, services, people, capital – and data, Üstün says.
Üstün stresses that the EU should focus on removing trade barriers, such as the micro-management of legal issues and standards, over-use of delegated acts, and the lack of market control and oversight. These measures are important to ensure that Swedish businesses have the necessary conditions to operate and grow.
She notes that there is increasing pressure from some quarters for changes to EU competition law and state aid rules.
– Increasing state aid and facilitating mergers of large companies risks reducing competition and mobility in the Single Market. Free movement presupposes that competition takes place on reasonably equal terms.
– The Single Market will never be “completed”. It reflects changes in society and needs to evolve continually – and therefore also needs to be protected, says Üstün.