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The European Single Market

A single market is
a type of trade union, where most trade barriers have been removed with some shared
policies on product regulation and production of enterprise and services. This
market refers to the EU as one territory to supply goods and services. The
European single market stimulates a lot of competition and trade due to its
growing economy improving efficiency and cutting prices. The single market is
one of the EU’s biggest accomplishments. It powers economic growth.

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The European Union’s single
market is possibly the most determined type of trade co-operation. The
reason being is it only does not remove costs and taxes on trade; it also contains
the free movement of goods, services, capital and labour and the ideas are widened
to include economic policy
management for example in the areas of health and safety legislation and
monopoly & competition policy.

Each year The Court of Auditors writes the
financial report of the EU. It examines the expenditure and revenue of the EU
to ensure its transparency. The EU have created a global system for fair and open trade
and opening markets with partners by working with the World Trade Organization
to keep the global economy open and based on fair rules.  Insert table from this
link –

The EU has 28 members including the UK. There are four
members of the European Free Trade Association (ETFA) – Norway, Iceland,
Switzerland, and Liechtenstein which also participate in the single market on
different levels. The development of the digital single market by 2020 could
possibly result in a 4% increase in GDP in the EU. This means it will change
the EU’s single market rules by increasing the music download business, forming
online payments effortlessly in order to protect EU consumers purchasing goods
and services online.

The Single Market

in the UK and EU is now being taken over by the single market which has
increased availability of foreign products within the member countries.  The European project is at the heart of the single market; however
its benefits don’t always emerge due to implemented guidelines or other
barriers. The single market is being given a boost by increasing flexibility
for service providers, providing easy access for retailers to trade across borders,
helping innovative business models succeed, and improve access to goods and
services throughout the EU in order to boost the single market. Oil and gas companies
such as Shell and Bp are the largest European companies taking in over
40million US Dollars. It is one of the leading trade institutions in the Single

A well-known gas company abroad named Chevron
merged with Texaco in 2011; however Shell took over re branding the fuel
stations in 2002 which was told to be one of the biggest take overs in history.



Globalization is
a big issue to tackle around the world. Companies have been taking advantage of
the differences between member states to enter the single market where they
have few restrictions to access the EU freely. 
Technology is developing so much over the years and countries like China
and the U.S are leading the market, encouraging new products. This has led the
EU to expand and develop products outside the EU to produce a valuable product
and get ahead of the current market. Single Market rules apply compliance with
global trade rules and investment, however overseas competition does not have
the same restrictions.

Some flaws are now being
identified from diverse national policies of EU rules in areas such as energy
or data protection which is leading to division within the Single Market making
firm’s reconsider their location. This has disadvantaged the EU as a global
industrial competitor; however the EU industry will rely on development in
digitalisation and becoming eco-friendly in order to create global value chains
and innovative new business models. The new industrial policy should aim to
increase Europe’s competitiveness and boost the renovation of industries.

Single Market for


This market trades with
approximately 21 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and 500
million consumers. The main priority is to trade freely and set safety
standards in order to protect the environment and consumers under one Act.


One way to do this is to
follow legal metrology. This is the science of measurement which is important
for trade and our everyday lives. Without correct measuring it is impossible
for a market to function. This is also one of the pillars of the single market
for products.


Looking at the
international point of view the single market expansion over the years and the
EU’s regulatory model are important factors shaping the EU’s relationship with
non EU countries and enabling good conditions for international trade in
regulated products. By keeping a good business relationship it makes it simpler
to trade and expand to different markets. In order to keep excellent relations
the EU Commission follows a strict guideline to trade. They keep regulations
and standards up to date; use the appropriate regulations and keeping rules as
simple as possible to follow. They also hope to keep trade fair and follow
guidelines for returns and warranties etc. The global environment is changing
due to rise of protectionism and the U.S no longer being a stable guarantor of
an open global economic system. There is a lot of competition on lowering
taxation and environmental standards.


single market has also increased competition in the manufacturing sector, which
has led to lower prices for consumers. There are a
number of international legal instruments which improve cooperation and
management of legalisation which simplify the free movement of goods and
services. They include the following;


Appendix 1.

Legal Instruments

full integration of the EEA and EFTA countries in the internal
market through the EEA agreement

alignment of the
legislative system and infrastructure of EU candidate countries with the EU;

similar alignment of neighboring
countries through bilateral Agreements on conformity assessment and
acceptance of industrial products (ACAAs);

Conclusion of
inter-governmental Mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) for conformity  assessment, certificates, and marking. These
are intended to reduce the costs of testing and certification on other

      5. Reliance on the WTO
Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.






Single Market for


The service sector
contributes a huge amount to the single market including economic and
employment in the EU accounting for 70% activity. This is the growth of
services and establishment in countries other than the one they trade in


The EU economy relies on
retail and wholesale services as they help boost the economy. They account for 11.1% of
the EU’s GDP and provide around 33 million jobs. E-commerce has improved the
market for retailers and the amount of products available to customers. The
European commission aims to ensure a joint market is available for wholesalers,
retailers and consumers.


Specialist in the EU
are able to move across the borders and follow their occupation through weather
its buying and sell products and providing individual services to clients at
their own comfort.

Digital Single Market

The world has developed its trading over the
years as the internet and digital technology has transformed the economy.
Trading of goods and services can be limited due to online barriers and the
established online companies and start-ups have their opportunities limited. By
operating the EU’s single market using the new digital technology, removing
regulations and moving from 28 national markets to a single one.


A digital single market
benefits the European business and customers in a number of ways. Every year
innovation funds billions to the EU economy. The online digital market is
spreading; online marketplaces are still mainly domestic in terms of online
services. Some research shows only 7% of
small and medium-sized businesses in the EU sell cross-border. This can change
by putting the single market online, as it can help Europe hold its position as a world leader in the digital
economy. This market creates a large amount of jobs which help with industry



All products need a
guideline as to how they should be produced and finished.

Standards need to be met
that are voluntary which apply to products and services.

Companies need to abide
by this specification in order to trade and gain repeat custom. Without these
guidelines trading would be very difficult as consumers need peace of mind for
what they are investing in or buying. Also the companies need to be equal in
practice to produce something worth selling or providing. Depending on the
level of standards met products and services can enhance competition by using
it as USP and making themselves stand out. It also helps reduce costs and
improve the level of safety measures which need to be met.


Barriers to trade


There are barriers which can stop or
slow down trading. The Commission works to overcome these and make it simple
for organisations to trade freely in the EU and around the world.  


Technical barriers to trade follow a
contract eliminating limitations on imports and exports and managing
regulations In 1999 a mutual recognition of higher-education
professional qualifications was embraced to promote the ability for citizens
(e.g. doctors) of a member state to offer services in other member states. The
free movement of capital has substantially contributed to facilitate FDI
activity within, to and from the single market.

CE marking

The CE trade mark notifies the
seller in regards to the product meeting health and safety regulations. This
enables the product to be sold throughout the EU.

Public procurement

Public findings are the purchase
of goods and services by public authorities such as national, regional, or public
governments. One of the EU policies is to trade fairly so the public
Procurement confirms this and makes sure guidelines are met.


Industrial Policy

A European industrial
policy helps with maintaining a framework for all policies to preserve and
protect openness and competition. Some member states will have an upper hand
with financial and institutional capacity to do more than others, resulting in
an increase of inequalities. Some may protect other uncompetitive industries
but this will weaken the EU in the long run which results in reducing
competitiveness instead of enhancing it. New policies need to be developed in
order to support Europe’s industrial developments and improve competitiveness.





Governance and
monitoring of the Single Market

The Commission monitors the application of EU law and can launch infringement proceedings
against EU countries that do not comply. This helps to create economic reports
and use stakeholders to evaluate the position of The Single Market and how much
it contributes and implements The Single Market Act.

Between 1978
and 1995, Shell Oil produced polybutylene pipes,
which corrode when exposed to chlorine. A class
action lawsuit was filed in 1995 against Shell Oil when the
polybutylene pipes caused flooding in many households in the U.S. and Canada.18 The
settlement required Shell Oil to pay for the re-installation of piping for
millions of houses for claims filed through May 2009.19


requirements aim to promote technological innovation, protection of health,
public safety, protection of the environment and fair trade.

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