European Movement Austria Presents Reform Ideas for the EU Single Market

PeopleOther ♦ Published: June 27, 2023; 10:19 ♦ (Vindobona)

Europe has achieved a level of prosperity that no previous generation has experienced. The EU Single Market, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is the key to this success. The future of the Single Market was the focus of a panel discussion of the European Movement Austria (EBÖ) at THE LEO GRAND in Vienna.

The European Movement Austria (EBÖ) is the non-partisan platform of pro-European forces from civil society, politics and business in Austria and at the European level part of European Movement International. / Picture: © European Union and Austrian crossed flags by Vindobona

Dr. Christoph Leitl, President of the EBÖ, Dr. Franz Fischler, former EU Commissioner, Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Sabine Herlitschka, MBA, CEO of Infineon Technologies Austria AG, Mag.a Maria Maltschnig, Director of the Karl-Renner-Institute, as well as Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ewald Nowotny, President of the Austrian Society for European Policy (ÖGfE), discussed the further development of the Single Market and the EU to secure the European economic and social model for the future.

In his welcome address, EBÖ President Christoph Leitl said: "As the European Movement Austria, we bundle the pro-European forces from the most diverse parts of society: Our common goal is a strong Europe that acts, not reacts - both internally and on the world stage. We won't get anywhere with parochialism." A strong Europe is not only built at EU summits and in the EU institutions, he said; European democracy is lived out every day in associations and clubs. Leitl emphasized, "Greater involvement of these forces in the further development of the internal market and the EU as a whole also promotes the cohesion of our society in a common Europe."

Infineon Technologies Austria CEO and Vice President of the Federation of Austrian Industries Sabine Herlitschka said, "The EU single market with 447 million people, 23 million companies, and a gross domestic product of 14,522 billion euros is a huge success story. It is the engine of growth and prosperity, especially for Austria. At the same time, it is highly necessary to think and act in a truly European way because of the new geopolitical realities. Therefore, what is needed is vigorous further development and reorientation of Europe, especially concerning technological change and a long-term industrial strategy with ambitious, measurable goals. Positioning itself strongly with this in geopolitical competition, especially in the field of key technologies, means proactively seizing opportunities for Europe."

Maria Maltschnig, Director of the Karl Renner Institute and Vice President of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies emphasized, "Social progress has not been a priority in the EU for a long time. However, the past few years have shown that key social policy projects can be implemented at the European level. To deliver on the EU's promise of prosperity, we must continue to have an ambitious social investment agenda to accompany social and economic transformation."

Franz Fischler, former EU Commissioner, and ardent European, said, "Creating a common market without internal borders was the EU's greatest achievement under Commission President Jacques Delors. Now it's a matter of completing the single market." According to Fischler, the biggest challenge for the future is to "make Europe sustainable and secure in terms of foreign policy."

Ewald Nowotny, President of ÖGfE and former Governor of the Austrian National Bank stressed that climate change requires a purposeful European economic policy: "To meet the challenges, we need a common European capital market."

New EBÖ publication "Strong together"

The event also saw the presentation of the new EBÖ publication "Strong Together: Review and Reform Ideas for the EU Single Market". This publication assesses the achievements of the Single Market with its four fundamental freedoms from different perspectives of its members, including all social partners, numerous European policy NGOs, the Federal Youth Council, the Association of Towns and Municipalities, and pro-European Austrian parties. The publication contains proposals for the further development of the Single Market.

European Movement Austria