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The Single Market is 30 years old and is one of the greatest achievements of European integration and one of its main drivers. Its achievements are widely recognised and documented.


Erasmus – One of Europe's greatest success stories, Erasmus started as an exchange programme for students and today supports almost 640 000 people in their studies, traineeships or voluntary work abroad (2020 figures). Furthermore, thanks to the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme, more than 11 000 young entrepreneurs have benefited from work experience and mentoring in enterprises in other EU Countries.

Professional qualifications – Single Market rules ensure that professional qualifications recognised in one EU Country are also recognised in another EU Country. Lawyers, engineers or persons qualified in other professions regulated by EU Countries can be sure to enjoy equal opportunities in other EU Countries.

Security of personal data – The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) grants technology users certain rights, including control and access to their data and even the right to request its deletion/removal. Organisations are now required to use security tools such as encryption whenever possible to minimise harm to users in the event of a data breach.

Single Digital Gateway – A single point of access to information, procedures and support and problem-solving services in several areas of the Single Market, such as: travelling within the EU, studying and training in another Member State, starting, running or closing a business.

Vaccines – Vaccines played a key role in keeping the COVID-19 pandemic under control. Once relevant medical approvals were obtained, Europe stepped up production of vaccines for European citizens and the rest of the world.

Energy supply – EU rules on energy suppliers make it easier for consumers to compare available offers and, if necessary, to change their suppliers.


Safety and quality of consumer goods – EU rules and standards ensure the safety of consumer goods such as clothes, toys, cosmetics or materials that come into contact with food. For example, standards on chemicals ensure that these products do not contain harmful chemicals. Standards ensure that items such as children's clothes do not contain cords or drawstrings.

Energy efficiency of products – Thanks to EU energy labels, consumers can be informed of how much energy and water a given household appliance will consume. Eco-design rules furthermore ensure that household products such as refrigerators or washing machines are more energy efficient, thus helping to save energy and money.

Right to repair – European legislation guarantees consumers the right, for a 2-year period, to repair or replace defective products free of charge.

Roaming – When travelling to another EU Country, consumers do not have to bear any additional costs to use their mobile phones.

Single charger – The new rules will ensure that citizens can charge their mobile phones and other electronic devices using a single type of charger. This will be more convenient for consumers and will help reduce electronic waste.


Simplifications for SMEs – A network of national portals made available through “Your Europe” provides information to businesses and the general public on how EU rules apply in each EU Country for cross-border users, as well as on available support services. The system should soon allow multiple administrative procedures to be completed fully online in all EU Countries.

Timely payments – EU rules ensure that public authorities pay businesses on time for products and services provided. In order to further discourage late payment culture, the current rules will be strengthened primarily to protect SMEs and vulnerable businesses.

Public procurement – EU regulations ensure that tenders launched by public administrations are open and transparent. Public administrations are also encouraged to purchase innovative, cleaner and digital products and services – e.g. by opting for the use of “greener” vehicles in public transport systems. 

Unitary Patent – After years of negotiations, businesses will soon be able to protect their intellectual property by registering a single European patent, the so-called “unitary patent”. The new system will also make it easier for businesses to enforce their rights in courts and, overall, make it easier and cheaper for businesses to protect their innovations.

Essential inputs and technologies – Businesses need essential inputs, such as essential raw materials or key technologies such as semiconductors, to contribute to the greening and digitisation of our economy. Thanks to the Single Market, Europe is working to reduce our dependence on third Countries, including through the forthcoming publication of the “Critical Raw Materials Act” on critical raw materials, diversifying supplies, boosting production in Europe and supporting recycling activities.

(Source: European Commission)

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