19 April 2024


On 18 April, former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta presented a High-Level Report on the Future of the Single Market to EU leader meeting for a Summit in Brussels this week. The report offers recommendations to strengthen the Single Market to ensure it remains competitive. The report calls for proportionate legislation to avoid additional costs on businesses: the Single Market should make doing business easier. The Letta Report convincingly argues for an upgrade to make the Single Market fit for purpose in today’s global economy. It needs extending into financial services, energy and electronic communication as key drivers of future economic growth.

The 146 pages Report includes a chapter entitled ‘the Single Market as a catalyst for seamless and sustainable transportation in the EU’. The report recognises the strategic development of the transport sector is indispensable for the EU's ambitious agenda to transition towards a green economy. However, it notes a genuine Single Market in transport remains a major objective to be achieved. This requires the EU to establish a truly integrated Trans-European Network of Transport, encompassing key railways, inland waterways, short sea shipping routes, and roads that connect urban nodes, ports, airports, and terminals, as well as to eliminate the inefficient and unnecessary residual barriers between modes and national systems, including by addressing the existing regulatory and technical barriers. As such the lack of a fully integrated Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) is seen as an obstacle to achieve a Single Transport Market.

Importantly, the report recommends careful evaluations of new environmental requirements, such as integrating maritime transport into the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), to avoid unintended shifts of volumes to non-EU ports and potential competitiveness loss for European industry.

‘’CLECAT welcomes Enrico Letta’s High-Level Report, which emphasises the need for a Single European Market and recognises trade concerns about fragmentation, excessive bureaucracy, and lack of harmonised rules. We support its call for increased funding to address missing links in the EU transport network. At the same time reforming the Single Market is crucial for fostering a sustainable and competitive EU transport market”, said Nicolette van der Jagt, Director General at CLECAT.