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Meetings Calendar 2006
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The Internal Market

 

“The internal market shall comprise an area without internal frontiers in which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured.”

 

1958    1987    1989    1992    1993    1994    1995

1958

The EEC Treaty creates a supranational community of States with the aim of establishing a common market. The purpose of the common market/internal market is to achieve the goals enshrined in the EEC/EC Treaty (in particular the four freedoms: free movement of goods, persons, services and capital).

 

1987

The Single European Act sets a specific target date for completion of the internal market: 31 December 1992. The political basis for this Treaty amendment is the European Commission’s White Paper of 14 June 1985. The White Paper proposes creating a number of instruments to complete the internal market, in particular the extension of decision-making by majority vote in the Council. In addition, the principle of mutual recognition is introduced on an equal footing with the harmonisation of legal provisions.

 

1989

Jacques Delors, the President of the European Commission, launches a new initiative in a speech to the European Parliament, designed to include the EFTA countries wishing to join the European Economic Community (EEC) in the internal market project. A European Economic Area (EEA) is to be created to enable the EFTA countries to participate in the internal market.

 

1992

The Agreement on the European Economic Area is signed.

 

1993

The internal market, which is the basis for economic and monetary union, is largely completed by 1 January 1993. Work on fully achieving the aims of the internal market, i.e. the establishment of the four freedoms and the elimination of barriers to trade, continues.

 

1994

The EEA enters into force. The four fundamental freedoms are implemented and extended to the EFTA countries Austria, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland. Following a no vote in a referendum, Switzerland abandons its plan to join the EEA. Liechtenstein joins the EEA in 1995.

The four freedoms are:

  • Free movement of goods
    Establishment of a customs union, elimination of all quantitative barriers
  • Free movement of persons
    Free movement of labour, freedom of establishment
  • Free movement of services
    Freedom to exercise professions in other Member States
  • Free movement of capital
    Movements of capital between Member States may not be subject to restrictions.

 

1995

The EFTA countries Austria, Sweden and Finland join the EU. The remaining EFTA countries are: Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Liechtenstein becomes party to the EEA Agreement on 1 May 1995.

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Date: 30.12.2005