Internal market

One of the greatest achievements of the European Union is the internal market. It means that there are no restrictions on trade inside the European Union. There are no customs duties at borders. Companies can trade freely with one another. Competition is free.

Photo: European Parliament

Customs duties are just one limitation of trade. Trade is hindered even more by different technical requirements, health regulations, safety standards and national rules and licenses. The European Union has been able to remove many of these restrictions too. Common legislation and directives have helped to create the same product standards and requirements. As a result, problems with the trade between the countries could be solved.

The latest big reform is the single payment area in which the account numbers (IBAN) in all the member states are of the same format. This has made it easier to buy products in Europe because payments can be made to the seller’s account as easily in one’s own country.

The internal market also includes the free movement of people in the territory of the European Union. Border checks are only made randomly. People can freely make holidays or find work in another EU member state.

Photo: European Parliament

The practice of certain professions for which a license is required has been made easier – a diploma or vocational qualification received in one member state is also accepted in other member states.

Moreover, the internal market has reduced the price of phone calls and airline tickets. At the same time, it has increased competition because all companies operating in the EU may take part in competitive bidding for public contracts. Despite competition the large market offers big benefits for companies.

Thanks to the common currency it is easy to compare prices. It also helps prevent unfair price-setting. Everything that distorts competition is monitored and wrongdoers are fined. The level of consumer protection is high in all EU member states. Consumers may not be deceived. Products must safe.