How to build European services markets

How to build European services markets

Policy brief
28 September 2012

European services markets are still overwhelmingly national. There are big economic gains to be made from opening them up. 

  • Europe’s leaders are casting around for ways to improve the EU’s economic performance. In the long term, a more integrated single market for services could improve Europe’s weak productivity growth. 
  • The EU’s services markets are mostly national. So markets are small, Europe’s services firms do not face enough competition, and productivity growth is slow. 
  • The EU should make member-states fully implement existing directives designed to free up services; move towards mutual recognition of each other’s services regulations; and stop member-states watering down Brussels directives when they are incorporated into national laws.