Parliament adopted Single Market Programme to strengthen the EU’s internal market by supporting a wide range of activities, from improving food safety to helping SMEs.
The overarching goal of the €4.2 billion programme for 2021-2027 is to foster cooperation within, and improve the sustainability of, the internal market. The programme will support:
- EU businesses: Actions to support SMEs will focus on international competitiveness, development of digital and entrepreneurial skills and the green transition. Business clusters and social economy enterprises can now also access support to.
- better governance of internal market: Market surveillance will be financed via the new programme through a separate budgetary envelope, contributing to efforts to curb risks for consumers, whether through scams or unsafe or counterfeit products, at a time when e-commerce is growing. The programme will support actions promoting a greater choice of high quality products and services offered in the internal market.
- stronger consumer protection: The priority actions include improving the overall protection and awareness of EU consumer rights, as well as actions to promote sustainable consumption and ensure product safety.
- high level of health and safety: A large part of the programme will be dedicated to guaranteeing health and food safety, for example by supporting effective veterinary and phytosanitary controls in the case of health crises, endorsing safe production, and improving the competitiveness of the EU’s food industry.
- data gathering for high-quality, comparable, and reliable European statistics.
“The Single Market Programme will finance the strategic areas of what is one of the EU’s biggest achievements. The COVID-19 crisis has revealed the importance, now more than ever, of a well-integrated, smooth and well-functioning single market for our consumers, workers, businesses and member states. All sectors covered by the programme have been on the frontline of the pandemic, making the programme a vital pillar of our recovery,” said Rapporteur Brando Benifei (S&D, IT).
The regulation will enter into force on 3 May once published in the EU Official Journal, and will apply retroactively from 1 January 2021.