Free movement in the internal market

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EU For companies engaged in cross-border trade within the EU, it is particularly important that the obstacles to free movement in the internal market are removed. It is especially important that there is an effective cooperation between the EU institutions and Member States to complete the internal market. Greater political weight must be given to the common internal market, which is key to the success of EU cooperation and crucial for EU economic growth.

The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise welcomed the EU Commission’s Single Market Strategy launched in October 2015. We responded to this strategy and are continuing to be actively involved in the work to implement the Strategy’s 22 announced initiatives. 

After more than two decades since the launch of the internal market, new light must be shed on it to ensure that the free movement of goods and services becomes a reality. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise is, in particular, focusing on work aimed at improving the implementation and enforcement of existing EU legislation in order to improve the functioning of the internal market. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise believes that this is one of the most important aspect of removing obstacles for free movement in the internal market. In cases where new legislation is deemed necessary, it must be developed in accordance with the process for better regulation established at EU level.

We are also demanding measures from the European Commission to monitor the presence of so-called gold-plating, when EU legislation is implemented at national level. Member States have the right to go beyond the minimum level of EU directives when implementing them. However, this results in inconsistencies between Member States and a fragmented internal market. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise is demanding transparency in this area and, in cases where gold-plating is considered justified, that Member States must explain why and what effects it will have on business.

New legislation also needs to be technology neutral for companies to compete on equal terms, despite different business models, technology used and different degrees of digitization. This is essential in order for all companies to be able to comply with regulatory requirements.


The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise is committed to work for the free movement of services to be reality in the EU. The service sector accounts for a large part of the EU growth and job creation. We believe that a complete and correct implementation of the Services Directive would resolve many of the problems that service providers face in the internal market.

However, the free movement of goods could also be strengthened. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise is pleased that the EU Commission intends to take measures to improve the application of the principle of mutual recognition. We support the objective of transferring the burden of proof concerning whether a product should or should not be, subject to the principle of mutual recognition from enterprises to the national authorities.

Inadequate information and lack of information about what rules apply in the internal market and in different Member States, prevent companies from exploiting the opportunities offered by the internal market. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise supports the EU Commission's initiative for a "Single Digital Gateway", that is supposed to be a single point of information for businesses and citizens on the single market.

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