Trade of European countries with countries outside Europe is necessary. Many raw materials and also agricultural products are being imported because they do not occur here. Also, there is a high demand in non-European countries for goods they can not produce themselves, due to their currently low level of industrial development. For this reason, connecting the EU Single Market to world markets is justified.
Nevertheless, there are three reasons why this connection needs to be strictly regulated and limited and why European consumers should consume mainly goods and services that are being produced in Europe.
Since transporting goods within Europe means that the routes are considerably shorter than global routes, consuming EU products will automtically reduce CO2 emissions, even in a global context. Global transportation of goods causes 23% of global CO2 emissions. The shorter the routes, the better for the environment and climate.
On top of that the EU has significantly higher environmental standards for the production of goods than any other region in the world. This means that with a few exceptions, the consumption of goods that are being produced in the EU will help to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other substances that are damaging to the environment and our climate.
The social security of EU citizens is being “produced” in Europe, through the partial redistribution of income in Europe, which is being transferred to the States in the form of income tax of natural and corporate citizens. The production of goods and services in the EU consequently guarantees a large amount of state income. And it is this income, through taxes, that secures the financing of education, pensions, infrastructure and the internal and external security of EU citizens.
Only citizens working in Europe pay into the local social and health insurance systems. Therefore, there needs to be a sufficiently high number of jobs at living wages in Europe to fund our social security.
The vast majority of jobs are directly created by companies that produce goods or services in Europe. Even if one assumes that the jobs of European companies that export goods to countries outside Europe, are partially dependent on ex-EU exports, it must nevertheless be acknowledged that the main sales base of these companies is the EU Single Market. For this reason, these jobs too mainly depend on EU-internal consumption.
Furthermore, with some exceptions, European wages are relatively high, when compared with those paid in non-European countries. This is due to the fact that the cost of living is higher in Europe than in most other regions. Through a continued unqualified opening of the EU Single Market for non-European goods, local wages are coming under pressure. This results is either the loss of jobs (or job creation potential) or the lowering of wages. Both have negative consequences for European citizens and also for the companies that depend on European sales.