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Freshfields Sustainability

| 2 minutes read
Reposted from Freshfields Risk & Compliance

Enrico Letta on EU competitiveness: an analysis of his key recommendations for a fairer, greener, more digital economy

To much excitement and fanfare, former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta published his report on strengthening the EU Single Market. The 147-page report, which comes a few months before pivotal EU 2024 elections (see our Elections coverage) and amidst a number of global challenges facing the EU, features many concrete and novel recommendations to improve the EU’s competitiveness of the prized Single Market and ensure the EU’s economy is fit for a fair, green and digital transition. 

Commissioned by the Council and its President Charles Michel, this non-legislative communication gives food for thought to EU leaders and the future European Commission on where to place its energy and resources for the next five years. Reform of EU State aid, consolidation in the telecommunications sector, scaling up European business in energy and defence are just some of the ideas raised. Stakeholder reactions to his report have been fairly positive so far, and we expect to see many companies and national governments using some of his recommendations to prepare and champion their own positions during the current election campaign. However, stakeholders are split on how much influence this report will really have on shaping the EU agenda for the next five years. 

What does he propose?

Letta focuses on what he identifies as four new pillars of the single market that previously prevailed as national competences: defence, telecommunications, energy, and financial services. To build on these pillars, his report is split into six sections, with eye-catching proposals featured under each section. We’ve identified the following key priorities: 

What happens next? 

Letta’s report is just one of many thought pieces being crafted to help set the strategic agenda of the European Commission for the next five years. Another report on competitiveness (which is directly linked with the EU’s single market success) is being conducted by another former Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, and is expected to be published in June 2024. We anticipate Draghi’s report to be much more political, detailing where joint borrowing is possible and what it should fund, for example. While Letta also takes into account the geopolitical context in his report, Draghi is expected to concentrate much more on the sensitive subject of EU enlargement or defence spending.

"(…) It is time to craft a new compass to guide the Single Market in this complex international scenario. Powerful forces of change - spanning demographics, technology, economics, and international relations - necessitate innovative and effective political responses. Given the ongoing crises and conflicts, action has become urgent, particularly as the window of opportunity to intervene and relaunch the European economy risks closing in the near future. " Enrico Letta, former Italian Prime Minister and author on the ‘Much More than a Market’ Single Market report


financing and capital markets, europe, consumer, regulatory