First ever financial programme to boost the single market ready to kick-off

Submitted by Imogen Allan on 04 May 2021

The European Commission has welcomed the adoption of the first single market programme. With €4.2 billion allocated for 2021–2027, the programme provides an integrated package to support and strengthen the governance of the Single Market, including for financial services.


The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of a well-functioning single market for the resilience of the European economy. This programme provides a dedicated budget to boost the Single Market. The Single Market Programme is a modern, simple, and flexible programme, which consolidates a large range of activities that were previously financed separately into one coherent programme.

This will reduce overlaps and improve coordination, ensuring continuity in the efficient delivery of the Single Market on the ground, while providing better value for money for EU citizens and allowing a focus on priorities essential for the economic recovery.

Moreover, the programme will support better enforcement of Union law and promote the competitiveness of SMEs, including through the Enterprise Europe Network and Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs.

Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, said:

“A well functioning single market has a significant and positive impact on jobs, growth and health; it offers more choice and lower prices for consumers, and allows businesses to exchange products and services. The new single market programme regulation will make the single market more effective and will contribute to a sustainable recovery and successful green and digital transitions.”

Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said:

“The single market has proven. time and time again, to be our engine for growth, jobs, and resilience. The agreement on the first ever EU programme to strengthen the single market in all its diversity is a good sign for years to come. It will benefit citizens, consumers and companies alike on the ground; particular SMEs, which continue to be deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The new single market programme will support:

  • Making the internal market work better through improved market surveillance, and a range of problem-solving support for citizens and business, like SOLVIT and the Your Europe Portal.
  • Improving the competitiveness of businesses, especially SMEs, to complement financial support offered through Invest EU.
  • Ensuring European standardisation and development of international financial and non-financial reporting and auditing standards.
  • Ensuring a high level of consumer protection and product safety, promoting the interests of consumers.
  • A high level of health for humans, animals, and plants throughout the food chain with actions like the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF).
  • Producing and communicating high-quality statistics on Europe, in cooperation with National Statistical Offices.

Updated Industrial Strategy

On the 5 May, the Commission updated the EU Industrial Strategy to ensure that its industrial ambition takes full account of the new circumstances following the COVID-19 crisis and helps to drive the transformation to a more sustainable, digital, resilient and globally competitive economy.

The SME dimension is at the core of the Updated Strategy with tailored financial support and measures to enable SMEs and start-ups to embrace the twin transitions. 

Next steps

The single market programme regulation will be published in the EU Official Journal in the next days, and will apply retroactively from 1 January 2021.

Read the full press release here and find the factsheet below.

Single Market EU budget for the future image
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