The White Paper, ‘Growth, Competitiveness, Employment: The Challenges and Ways Forward into the 21st Century’, issued by the European Commission in 1993, was aimed at laying the foundations for the sustainable development of European economies. It was written as the Commission's answer to economic difficulties faced by EU member states soon after the creation of the Internal Market. The Commission presented it as a blueprint for a medium-term strategy for growth, competitiveness and employment:

All Member States are suffering serious short-term unemployment problems. The scale of these problems should not divert the Community from the longer-term tasks, however. An end to recession will not bring an end to employment difficulties. Short-term concerns should be balanced against the longer-term imperatives of expanding employment opportunities and of ensuring that economic and social progress march in step.

(European Commission, 1993, p. 115)