Delivering a Stronger Single Market

A study on whether we, as EU citizens and business, are getting enough out of the growth enhancing initiatives taken by the EU.

Nordic Innovation wanted to conduct a study which could identify border effects for trade in goods and services in the EU. Border effects implies barriers to trade that arises from differences in national regulation, lack of enforcement, consumer preferences and networks.

We evaluated whether EU legislation with the aim of increasing economic growth actually works. We worked together with a subcontractor, The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). We identified a number of databases and information sources indicating if EU legislation has been properly implemented and applied in Member States. We used information on EU Commission infringement procedures, EU pilot, SOLVIT and TRIS. This led us to identify four areas where we detected problems with implementation and application. We then went on to describe the nature of the problems ending up with a first estimate of how much poor implementation and application is holding back EU growth.

We found rough indications that the lack of proper implementation and application in the four areas of tax, services, goods and public procurement may be reducing the expected economic gains from the core directives and regulations in these areas by 1/3; equivalent to a large two digit billion loss in euros. This is worrisome as taxation, services and public procurement are important parts of the Single Market Act. We also proposed recommendations for principles for future instruments that we believe will increase the quality of implementation and application of EU law. 


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