In its 25 years of existence, the Single Market has grown from 12 to 28 EU Members and extends to Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein (EEA countries) , and to Switzerland via bilateral agreements. Despite uncertainties and challenges, the EU's free trade area continues to exercise an unprecedented attraction across the continent.
Lorry drivers on their way to other European countries. A woman makes a charge-free call abroad on her smartphone. These seemingly banal actions are the result of one of the most remarkable achievements in European history: the Single Market. From the Nordic Lights to the Mediterranean sun, we have freedom of movement for people, goods, services, money. We are the biggest integrated market in the world. It brings together 28 EU states and 4 non-EU states, increasing economic competition and abolishing hundreds of legal and bureaucratic national barriers. Neighbouring countries like Turkey or Georgia are given selective access. In two and a half decades, more than a dozen countries joined the Single Market - for obvious reasons. The free movement of goods generates 25% of GDP every year boosting employment and investment. There are no fees for cross-border transactions, and bank transfers are now free of charge. Ending obstacles to accessing digital goods and services like unjustified geoblocking could yield an extra €415 billion a year. The free movement of data which is part of all the other free movement is going to really create enormous benefits to our citizens and it is the digital entrepreneurship that is going to give a lot of solutions to people's problems if we allow, enable and facilitate this free movement.