The foundation of a sustainable Single Market: From the Single Act to the Green Deal
In February 1993, one month after the single market became a reality, Jacques Delors gave a speech to the European Parliament at the investiture debate of the new Commission.
He underlined the importance of integrating environmental concerns into other common policies. A year earlier, in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, the international community set the same objective: environmental concerns should be integrated into the definition and implementation of other policies.
"This was an important part of the Single Act and one of the necessary conditions of its adoption", recalls Geneviève Pons, in charge of environment in Jacques Delors' cabinet, who also accompanied him to Rio, where Delors laid the foundations of his vision of sustainable development for Europe. According to Article 130 R.2 of the Treaty, introduced by the Single Act “environmental protection requirements shall be a component of the Community's other policies.”
Moreover, according to article 100 A, part of the same treaty, the Commission in its proposals relative to the establishment and functioning of the Single market,concerning health, safety, environmental protection and consumer protection, “will take as a base a high level of protection”.
Today, as it is more than ever necessary to ensure the sustainability of the Single Market, these two precious principles, introduced thirty years ago, remain there to guide our action.