12 Jul 2021

The Single Market is the engine of EU’s economy and must be preserved

"The Single Market is really the engine of the European Economy. It sets the base of what Europe was all about when the project started, taking down these barriers".

EUROPEN's Managing Director Francesca Stevens warns of the danger of diverging national legislations and of the importance of a strong Single Market to foster investment and innovation, which is very much needed to drive the circular economy. Ensuring the integrity of the Single Market and keeping legislative barriers from arising within the European Union has been an everyday battle for EUROPEN.

As part of this effort, EUROPEN and 62 other European and national organisations from across the packaging value chain have called on the European Commission, in a joint industry statement published in June 2021, to take urgent action to ensure a common approach for packaging waste-sorting labelling to preserve the free movement of goods within the EU and underpin sustainability measures. Growing numbers of national packaging labelling and information requirements hinder greater harmonisation of waste collection and sorting, resulting in major Single Market disruptions. This is an undeniable roadblock to sustainable packaging solutions and Europe’s sustainability goals.

The review of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive as well as the work initiated by the Commission to harmonise separate waste collection and sorting, as required by the Waste Framework Directive, present a valuable opportunity to ensure effective and harmonised labelling requirements.

To avoid the proliferation of unilateral and divergent national measures, the Commission must ensure full compliance with the free movement of goods’ principles and take decisive action to prevent or address disproportionate or unjustified measures on unilateral packaging labelling. This also demands a strong cooperation from Member States to resolve any Single Market incompatibilities raised by their national measures.