France, Italy, Spain and Austria – are the four EU countries that have the weakest results in the European Commission ranking on the functioning of the single market. Poland is an EU average, while Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Slovakia are rated best.
The scoreboard published on Friday shows that, despite improvements in some areas, Member States need to do more to ensure the proper functioning of the single market.
Its significance was clearly demonstrated by the coronavirus crisis and restrictions imposed by member states, especially at the beginning of a pandemic in Europe. Closing borders threatened supply chains, and the inability of seasonal workers to travel from one country to another gave headaches to farmers fearing that crops would be wasted in the fields.
However, these problems are only a fragment of the single market that has not been fully functioning for years. Member States are afraid of complete opening of the market for services or regulated professions for those interested from abroad, fearing social anger that could result in changes in various industries.
The authorities in Paris are doing poorly, including with the implementation of EU law. The EC's calculations show that 34 procedures for violating EU law are currently open for France. In the case of Italy, the situation in this area is even worse. The country has 49 infringement cases.
The situation looks better across the EU in terms of market integration and openness in trade in goods and services. Still, the EU has a lot to do in terms of equal opportunities for companies from different countries in public tenders.
Much better the EU as a whole looks at recognition of professional qualifications. The vast majority of countries, including Poland, can boast a result above the EU average.