The Single Market remained strong during the pandemic – but more can be done


EU rights

Published: 18 Aug 2022

Despite being heavily tested during the COVID-crisis, the Single Market proved to be resilient, a National Board of Trade’s survey shows. But more can be done to strengthen the Single Market in times of crisis.

National countermeasures like border controls and export restrictions caused major disruptions on the Single market during the COVID crisis, especially in the initial phase. However, most of the measures were most likely in line with EU law, as they were motivated by the protection of public health.

– Despite all the disturbances, the legal structure of the Single Market is flexible enough to accommodate such far-reaching restrictions. Given the nature of the crisis and the limited competence of the EU in the field of health protection, it is important to allow the full use of the Member States' capabilities to address the pandemic, says Olivier Linden, legal adviser at the National Board of Trade Sweden.

However, more can be done to strengthen the Single Market in times of crises.

– We have several proposals on how to strengthen the Single Market. These include increased transparency between EU countries, better enforcement, and stronger cooperation mechanisms.

Download the report

Lessons from the Pandemic – Designing a Single Market crisis management mechanism