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EDITIONS
Euro-glossary Monday, 30 April, 2001, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
Single market
The single market came into force in January 1993, establishing the free movement of goods, people, services and capital.

The Treaty of Rome which established the EEC in 1957 had set its sights on creating a common market. That came into being in 1968 with the creation of a customs union.

But it took much longer to take the leap towards a single market.

The Single European Act, signed in 1986, finally set a deadline of 1992 for the single market to be up and running.

It also streamlined the decision-making process to take account of successive enlargements and to speed up legislation to implement the single market.

In the end, the single market was launched on 1 January 1993, though some of the legislation was still not in place.

The single market set up four freedoms:

  • Goods: companies can sell their products anywhere in the member states and consumers can buy where they want with no penalty.
  • People: citizens of the member states can live and work in any other country and their professional qualifications should be recognised.
  • Capital: currencies and capital can flow freely between the member states and European citizens can use financial services in any member state.
  • Services: professional services such as banking, insurance, architecture and advertising can be offered in any member state.

Your guide to the European Union: Features, backgrounders and reference guides
Making sense of the EU



Timeline of the union


Glossary

See also:

20 Mar 01 | Euro-glossary
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