Shared regulations for shared freedoms
From vegetable traders to furniture manufacturers and IT consultants, those who offer goods or services in the European Union can do so in any member state. This is made possible by the European economic union with its single market. Since there are no national borders for goods and services within the EU, new products are not subject to trade restrictions or customs checks either. The same applies to people as to goods, with EU citizens free to travel, live, study, work or retire in any member state. Money can also circulate freely within the single market and EU citizens can invest their money wherever they think it is most profitable.
The EU single market is underpinned by four fundamental freedoms: the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital. These freedoms are enshrined in law and EU citizens can invoke their right to them at any time. To make these freedoms possible within the single market, the member states have aligned and harmonised their national laws with newly created European laws. For example, throughout the economic union, all member states are subject to the same European competition rules. Compliance with these rules is monitored by the European Commission.