The first priority of the EU's internal market should be to raise living standards for citizens and improve their working conditions, not simply to benefit businesses. A European single market, and a single currency, need common rules to coordinate Member States’ national economic policies. However, rules should not focus on increasing ‘competitiveness’ by cutting public spending and regulation and lowering standards and wages, but should instead aim at promoting growth and creating more and better jobs. Rules should not only govern economic affairs but also establish a strong social dimension to the market.
The ETUC expects Europe to act against social dumping and put the principle of 'equal pay for equal work' into practice. The internal market is currently facing challenges of undeclared work, letter-box companies, bogus self-employment and other fraudulent practices. In such circumstances, Member States, in consultation with trade unions, should be able to enforce regulations to protect workers.