30 Years of EU Single Market: Austria’s Advantages are Apparent

EnergyOil & Gas ♦ Published: February 18, 2023; 01:12 ♦ (Vindobona)

30 Years of the EU Single Market have had a positive influence on Austria’s economy. This is shown by the reports of the Ministry of Labor and Economy and the Austrian Economic Chamber (WKO).

30 Years of EU Single Market Have Shown Many Benefits to Austria. / Picture: © Vindobona.org

After the efforts regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and against the background of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, the top priority for 2023 is to continue to contain the current energy and price crisis as best as possible and to ensure a sustainable economic and social recovery. This is what Labor and Economics Minister Martin Kocher states in his department's report with annual EU projects for 2023, which contains a wide range of topics - from work to business, industry, and applied research to trade policy and external relations to tourism.

The 30th anniversary of the common EU single market is also at the center of the work. According to the report, the Swedish EU Council Presidency in the first half of 2023 will focus, among other things, on the area of energy and raw material supply security, the digital economy, the green transition, and the service sector.

The single European market is the most important basis for Austrian companies to do business. According to the report, around 70 percent of Austrian foreign trade takes place within the EU. Exports to the 26 other EU member states have more than tripled since Austria joined the EU, to €112 billion in 2021. Even if Austria were a "net contributor" to the EU, the benefits of the single market would be far greater exceed the cost. It is now a matter of strengthening existing rules, eliminating deficits, and extending the scope of application to the enlargement candidates. The priority is to focus on the consistent application, implementation, and enforcement of existing legislation.

As early as 2020, the Ministry of Labor and Economic Affairs advocated a rapid adjustment of the proposal for a joint EU industrial strategy and an update concerning the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current energy crisis underscores this need even more. As part of the further national implementation process, the focus should be on points such as the expansion of strategic value chains and diversification, especially with strategic raw materials. Above all, the goals for open strategic autonomy formulated in the EU industrial strategy will also play an important role in 2023.

The deputy general secretary of the WKO, Mariana Kühnel, also discussed what needs to be done in "unfinished business": "The WKO has come up with a 10-point program of demands so that the unfinished business can become a finished and fully functional domestic market. The bureaucracy is particularly urgent to reduce, i.e. to avoid excessive burdens for companies. The greatest potential - especially for young and growing companies - exists in the internal market for services, where there are currently still many hurdles in practice."


Austrian Parliament