Internal market of the European Union

The common market of the European Union is an area with no internal borders, allowing the free movement of goods, services, people and capital between different member states.


People can move within the European Union as freely as within a single country and live, work and learn in any EU member state. For entrepreneurs, the common market means less bureaucracy and allows them to extend their business to the markets of other countries more easily.

Entrepreneurs can produce and sell goods, provide services and make investments at equal grounds in any European Union member state; restrictions can only be imposed in cases arising from public interest. For example, all products and services must be safe for health and the environment.

The internal market of the European Union harmonises and simplifies the legal environment that regulates business. It increases transparency and allow entrepreneurs to use the advantages granted by a large market. In addition, consumers have a bigger freedom of choice and products and services that are available at a better price and higher quality.

An overview of the contribution of the member states to the functioning of the common market is given as a web-based common market performance table, prepared by the European Commission. According to the results, published in July 2014, Estonia was the only member state that achieved, in all the categories of governance measures, results that were better than the average.

Internal market of the European Union

Areas

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications handles the following European Union internal market areas:

Free movement of goods

Products placed lawfully to the market in one of the member states can also be sold and used, as a general rule, in all the other member states.
Further information »

Free movement of services

Entrepreneurs of any European Union member state shall have the right to provide their services in Estonia, on a temporary basis, without establishing an enterprise or its subsidiary here.
Further information »

Competition

State involvement in ensuring efficient competition is one of the corner stones for effective functioning of a market economy.
Further information »

 

Quality assurance

Products and services that are available in European internal market must meet all the mandatory requirements and customer expectations.
Further information »

Consumer protection

Consumer Protection Authority is a state authority within the administrative area of the Ministry that is involved in the protection of economic interests of consumers, by advising and training consumers.
Further information »

 

Information systems and information
 

The following information portals are available to the citizens and entrepreneurs of the European Union:

Information system of administrative authorities of member states

 

Internal Market Information System (IMI) can be used to exchange information and obtain assistance in the event of problems related to administrative and labour culture and linguistic differences and in the case of the absence of steady partners in another member state.

 

Solving internal market problems
 

The European Union internal market problems are solved by SOLVIT.
 

SOLVIT is a service provided to the citizens and enterprises of the European Union for the extra-judicial adjudication of problems, which may arise as a consequence of incorrect application of the European Union internal market legislation by an authority of another member state.

SOLVIT aims at finding solutions within 10 weeks – from the date that the SOLVIT centre concerned accepted your problem to start proceedings in the country where the problem first occurred.

This is mainly an online service and it is the best to contact SOLVIT electronically. However, complaints can also be submitted in free form, by post, e-mail or fax, with all the relevant documents attached.

Contact information of Estonian SOLVIT Centre:
Phone: 625 6418 ja 625 6489
E-mail: solvit.eesti [at] mkm.ee

The service is available in all the European Union member states as well as Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. Estonian SOLVIT Centre is a part of the Internal Market Department of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

 

When can SOLVIT help you?

SOLVIT can help you with problems that meet the following criteria:
 

  • Authorities of another EU member state have violated your European Union rights as a citizen or entrepreneur.
  • You are facing a cross-border problem.
  • You haven’t applied for court (yet), although SOLVIT can also help you after you have filed a complaint about an administrative violation.
     

Typical questions that you can contact SOLVIT about:

 

  • Acknowledgment of professional qualification
  • Visas and residence permits
  • Trade and services (enterprises)
  • Vehicles and driver’s licences
  • Family benefits
  • Pension rights
  • Working abroad
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Health insurance
  • Access to education
  • Cross-border movement of capital and payments
  • Value added tax refunds

Are there any situations when you’re beyond the assistance, offered by SOLVIT?

  • Court proceedings have already been initiated
  • Settlement of disputes between entrepreneurs
  • Settling the disputes between entrepreneur and consumer
  • Compensation for damages

 

Last updated: 13 March 2015