Free movement of goods and services
The functioning of the internal market, which can be considered one of the corner stones of the EU, is based on the four freedoms laid down in the Treaty establishing the European Community, i.e. the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons. Despite the fact that these four freedoms already were included in the Treaty of Rome, the present internal market is a result of a long legislative process. The signing of the Single European Act in 1986 constituted the catalyst for the creation of a genuine internal market. It was followed by a comprehensive legislative programme that resulted in the implementation of the internal market of today at the beginning of 1993.
A central objective of the internal market is to facilitate the cross-border transactions of undertakings and citizens and reduce the cost of it. In other words, free movement of production factors without any discrimination on the basis of nationality or origin must be ensured.