PapersEconomic IntegrationEnrico Letta’s report: More than a market, but less than an agenda

Enrico Letta’s report: More than a market, but less than an agenda

By Centre for European Reform

Enrico Letta’s report on the single market offers largely sensible ideas to strengthen the EU’s economy. But he leaves member-states the job of prioritising and tackling the trade-offs. On April 18th, former Italian prime minister Enrico Letta published his long-awaited report on the future of the EU’s single market, entitled ‘Much more than a market’. Letta describes the EU single market as unsuited for a world where the EU’s share of the world economy is shrinking and where it faces competitors less willing to play by global norms. His report correctly identifies many of the EU’s most urgent problems. It has proposals on everything from the need for high-speed rail, investments in outer space, and a more unified health sector, to more quotidian efforts to improve EU law-making processes. But many of Letta’s recommendations echo ideas which have been raised repeatedly in recent years, offering something for everyone while glossing over trade-offs. This is illustrated by his somewhat quixotic call for the EU to strike “a balance between competitiveness, strategic independence and equitable global conditions, avoiding the imposition of detrimental regulations and instead fostering strategic partnerships based on well-founded policies”.

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Authors: Aslak Berg, Research Fellow; Zach Meyers Assistant Director, Centre for European Reform.

This report is available on the Centre for European Reform website.

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