Single market deregulation plan ‘betrayal of Delors’

The European Commission today published plans for the future of the single market which puts the EU on course for a race to the bottom and takes it even further away from Jacques Delors’ vision of a social Europe.

The communications on the 30th anniversary of the single market and “long-term competitiveness of the EU” includes an arbitrary target of cutting “regulatory burden” by 25%.

The Commission proposes to do so through policies such as a one-in, one-out approach to policymaking, a “competitiveness check” and a new impact assessment of the “cumulative impact of policies.”

  • The ‘one-in, one-out’ policy is borrowed from Donald Trump’s administration
  • The European Commission has itself warned that deregulation targets risks “adversely affecting underlying policy objectives” because it would “impair its political responsibility to deliver what needs to be done when it needs to be done”.
  • The number of workers being injured by machinery increased following a reduction in safety checks as part of the EU’s deregulation agenda. The checks had to be reinstated

Europe cannot and should not compete based on having low pay and standards but should instead seek to increase productivity through higher investment in skills, quality jobs and technology.

It also places the EU at odds with the United States, where the Biden administration is seeking to raise pay, working conditions and standards through social conditions in the Inflation Reduction Act.

ETUC Confederal Secretary Isabelle Schömann said:

“Jacques Delors famously said that no one falls in love with a common market, they need something else. That something else of course being a social Europe which makes the economy work for people.

“Unfortunately, the Commission’s plans for the future of the single market takes it even further away from this vision and increases the disconnect between Europe and working people.

“The best way to support European industry and its workers to increase productivity is by investing in technology and training and quality jobs and not through lowering wages or standards. Working people must receive a fair share of productivity gains.

“The EU should make the single market more work for people by getting inspired by  the win-win approach to competitiveness being taken by the Biden administration, which is ensuring industry is fit for the future at the same time as creating quality jobs and raising standards.”