The EU Single Market was highlighted today as one of the European Union’s greatest achievements and was signaled out as a potentially crucial element for helping the EU achieve growth and create new jobs. The Cyprus Presidency, on the occasion of the EU Single Market Week, organised the “Single Market for Growth” conference in Nicosia to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of the EU Single Market’s creation.
Cyprus’ Deputy Minister for European Affairs, Ambassador Andreas D. Mavroyiannis attended the meeting, along with the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, Mr. Michel Barnier and representatives of the European Parliament.
The conference was geared at enlightening participants of the benefits of the single market and its existing and potential contribution to the creation of jobs and to the boosting growth.
“The EU Single Market is part of the solution and not part of the problem of the current difficulties faced by the European Union,” said Mr. Barnier, who highlighted the need for marginalising the protectionist tendencies within the EU.
The European Commissioner outlined how the single market had created 2.7 million jobs between 1998 and 2008 and stressed its crucial role in decreasing airfares and mobile telecommunication rates, while also enabling 3 million young European citizens from participating in the Erasmus student exchange programme.
Concerning the EU Single Market Act II, which was announced by the European Commission earlier this month, Mr. Barnier said that it would help the EU unlock its potential for sustainable growth, innovation and the creation of jobs in conjunction with social cohesion.
During his address, Cyprus’ Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Mr. Neoklis Sylikiotis, who chairs the Competitiveness (Industry) Council, stressed the Cyprus Presidency’s determination to strengthen the EU Single Market.
Mr. Sylikiotis said that the Cyprus Presidency was striving to adopt as many of the Single Market Act I actions as possible, and was targeting Conclusions at the upcoming Competitiveness Council in December, concerning the Single Market Act II.
The Conference also highlighted the importance of governance in achieving progress in the single market, while it also examined the issues of professional qualifications recognition and social entrepreneurship across the Union.
The EU Single Market is regarded as one of the European Union’s greatest achievements, as it has enabled the free movement of goods, services, capital and people. Currently, over 500 million people across 27 Member States have access to a single European market.