25th anniversary of single European market, a turning point for horticultural exporters

The EU single market came into force on 1 January 1993, guaranteeing the free movement of people, goods, services and capital, and which for FEPEX was a determining factor in the take-off of the Spanish export of fruits and vegetables to the EU.

The entry into force of the single market entailed the elimination of tariffs and other measures limiting horticultural exports, including physical controls by customs authorities, which greatly facilitated the export of Spanish fruit and vegetables to the European Union.

In 1992, before the entry into force of the single market, the Spanish export of fresh fruit and vegetables amounted to 5,365,000 tonnes, showing a strong and continued growth from that year until 2000, when it reached approximately 10 million tonnes. Subsequently, there has been a decline in growth rates, but the positive development has been maintained, reaching 12.5 million tonnes in 2016. In this period, one of the causes of the slowdown in exports has been the growing competition from third countries.

For FEPEX, the entry into force of the single market was a turning point in the growth of the Spanish fruit and vegetable sector in the EU, which remains its main market, accounting for 93% of the total volume exported by Spain.

However, the construction and maintenance of the internal market requires a constant effort and currently there are actions that, in the opinion of FEPEX, weaken the internal market, such as the protectionist policies introduced in the field of fruit and vegetable marketing in some Member States. The move towards the renationalisation of the CAP, as suggested by the Communication on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy, published by the European Commission in November 2017, is another factor that could negatively affect the functioning of the single market.

Source: fepex.es

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