'Member States must take action to enlarge European market’

The single European market has generated many jobs and a great deal of income for the Netherlands. If Member States want to continue to benefit from the internal market they will have to take action to remove unnecessary obstacles for European entrepreneurs.

This is what Minister Verhagen of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation said today at an event in The Hague where he and Eurocommissioner Barnier of the Internal Market commemorated the 20th anniversary of the single European market.

‘We must not sit back and wait for Brussels to put measures in place to enlarge the internal market for entrepreneurs,’ Verhagen said. ‘The Netherlands is leading the way in removing unnecessary obstacles for European entrepreneurs. If other Member States follow suit we could benefit from the internal market even more’.

Economic growth

Since 1992 European unification has provided 4 to 6% extra growth for the Dutch economy. This has meant a boost of an extra €2000 to Dutch inhabitants’ incomes. On top of that, consumers pay 40% less for flight tickets and telephone calls now compared to before the unification.

In his speech Verhagen called on Member States to take action to increase market access for European entrepreneurs. The Netherlands is setting the example by allowing foreign companies to carry out construction tests and by permitting Dutch people in Spain and Belgium to have their vehicles tested for road safety there.

It is also becoming more attractive for foreign entrepreneurs to establish companies in the Netherlands. Administrative procedures are being simplified. For instance, setting up a private company took an average of 2 weeks, and now this will be reduced to 24 hours.