Denmark and Germany benefited the most from the European single market economically since its creation in 1993, a study released on Monday showed.
In Germany, European integration helped the real gross domestic product (GDP) to increase by an average of 37 billion euros (about 49.7 billion U.S. dollars) per year between 1992 and 2012, the study commissioned by Bertelsmann Foundation and conducted by Prognos AG found.
Annually, real GDP per capita rose by 450 euros thanks to the single market.
A higher increase was only seen in Denmark, where integration drove real GDP per capita to gain an additional 500 euros per year.
The study also found that European single market had positively impacted economies of all its 15 founding countries, but in an unbalanced way.
Compared with their northern neighbours, countries in southern Europe benefited much less from the integration. The average annual increase of GDP was 80 euros per capita in Italy, 70 euros in Spain and Greece and 20 euros in Portugal.
Meanwhile, there were more space for expansion of service and labour integration in Europe.
“The common market for goods already functions very well, whist the service sector leaves much to be desired,” said Bertelsmann Foundation in a statement.
According to the foundation, although services account for 70 percent of European GDP, they only account for 20 percent of cross-border trade in Europe. (1 euro = 1.34 U.S. dollars)