European Union

Single market

Single market

A single internal market without borders

The EU aims to enable EU citizens to study, live, shop, work and retire in any EU country and enjoy products from all over Europe. To do this, it ensures free movement of goods, services, capital and persons in a single EU internal market. By removing technical, legal and bureaucratic barriers, the EU also allows citizens to trade and do business freely.

The EU is also building a capital markets union, to make it easier for small businesses to raise money and to make Europe a more attractive place to invest. In addition, the digital single market will digitalise the EU's single market freedoms, with EU-wide rules for telecommunications services, copyright and data protection.

However, some barriers within the single market remain, and the EU is working to further harmonise:

  • fragmented national tax systems
  • separate national markets for financial services, energy and transport
  • varied e-commerce rules, standards and practices between EU countries
  • complicated rules on the recognition of vocational qualifications
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