EU leaders set to back revamp of single market

EU leaders set to back revamp of single market

BRUSSELS Reuters - European Union leaders are expected to back a revamp of the single market, simplify regulations and other measures to make sure the bloc can compete with the United States and China as an industrial leader in green and digital technologies.

The EU fears of an exodus of European industry have been raised by high energy prices and U.S. President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act, which offers $369 billion of green subsidies that can only be applied to products made in North America.

Europe's competitiveness has been a major concern for 30 years after it created an internal market that is largely seamless for goods, but falls short for services.

One EU diplomat said on condition of anonymity that the failure to complete the single market needs to be addressed.

EU leaders are expected to say that the single market is essential for future economic growth and highlight areas for improvement, despite the fact that they will be meeting in Brussels on Thursday for a two-day summit.

The European Council calls for ambitious action to complete the single market, in particular for digital and services, draft conclusions of the summit say.

The conclusions also call for improvements in areas to improve the European Union's competitiveness beyond 2030.

There are some things that are important for regulation and reducing bureaucratic burdens, such as by accelerating the processes for grant of permits for green or digital projects.

One issue that could be divided is the extent to which state aid rules should be relaxed to allow public funds to be pumped into clean tech, although leaders are not expected to reach a conclusion on the topic at this summit.