Author Archives: International

Internal Market

Internal Market

Internal Market Contents

  • Internal market: general framework
  • Living and working in the internal market: Free movement of people, asylum and immigration, free movement of workers
  • Single Market for Goods: Free movement of goods, technical harmonisation, product labelling and packaging, consumer safety, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, chemical products, motor vehicles, construction, external dimension
  • Single market for services: Free movement of services, professional occupations, services of general interest, transport, Information Society, postal services, financial services, banks, insurance, securities markets
  • Single market for capital: Free movement of capital, economic and monetary union, economic and private stakeholders, fiscal aspects, combating fraud, external relations
  • Businesses in the internal market: Company law, public procurement, intellectual property

See also

Living and working in the internal market.
Overviews of European Union: Internal market.
Further information: the Internal Market and Services Directorate-General of the European Commission.



Consumers Contents

  • Consumers: general framework and priorities: Services of general interest, Actions and strategic programmes
  • Consumer information: Information systems, Misleading advertisements and commercial practices
  • Consumer safety: Consumer health, Product safety, Safety of services, Quality of goods and services
  • Protection of consumers’ economic and legal interests: Consumer representation, Legal redress and the settlement of disputes, eCommerce, Contracts, Transport, Financial services
  • Product labelling and packaging: Labelling of foodstuffs, Food packaging and contents, Non-food product labelling

See also

Activities of the European Union: Consumers
Further information on the European Commission’s website Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General



Competition Contents

  • Rules applicable to firms: Agreements, Abuse of dominant positions, Mergers
  • Rules applicable to state aid: Plan of action, State aid scoreboard, Exemption by category, State aid to services of general economic interest, Regional aid
  • Rules applicable to specific sectors:  Agriculture, Energy, Postal services, Telecommunications, Transport
  • Competition: international dimension and enlargement: Bilateral agreements, Enlargement, Candidate countries

European Union Institutions and Bodies in relation to Competition

  • European Parliament: Committee on internal market and consumer protection
    Committee on economic and monetary affairs
  • Council of the European Unión: Competitiveness: internal market, industry and research
  • European Commission: Competition
  • European Economic and Social Committee: Single market, production and consumption section
  • Committee of the Regions: Commission for economic and social policy (ECOS)


Article 101 (competition) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (ex Article 81 TEC)

1. The following shall be prohibited as incompatible with the internal market: all agreements
between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings and concerted practices which may affect trade between Member States and which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the internal market, and in particular those which:
(a) directly or indirectly fix purchase or selling prices or any other trading conditions;
(b) limit or control production, markets, technical development, or investment;
(c) share markets or sources of supply;
(d) apply dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions with other trading parties, thereby placing them at a competitive disadvantage;
(e) make the conclusion of contracts subject to acceptance by the other parties of supplementary obligations which, by their nature or according to commercial usage, have no connection with the subject of such contracts.
2. Any agreements or decisions prohibited pursuant to this Article shall be automatically void.
3. The provisions of paragraph 1 may, however, be declared inapplicable in the case of:
— any agreement or category of agreements between undertakings,
— any decision or category of decisions by associations of undertakings, — any concerted practice or category of concerted practices, which contributes to improving the production or distribution of goods or to promoting technical or economic progress, while allowing consumers a fair share of the resulting benefit, and which does not:
(a) impose on the undertakings concerned restrictions which are not indispensable to the attainment of these objectives;
(b) afford such undertakings the possibility of eliminating competition in respect of a substantial part of the products in question.

Article 107 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (ex Article 87 TEC)

1. Save as otherwise provided in the Treaties, any aid granted by a Member State or through State resources in any form whatsoever which distorts or threatens to distort competition by favouring certain undertakings or the production of certain goods shall, in so far as it affects trade between Member States, be incompatible with the internal market.
2. The following shall be compatible with the internal market:
(a) aid having a social character, granted to individual consumers, provided that such aid is granted without discrimination related to the origin of the products concerned;
(b) aid to make good the damage caused by natural disasters or exceptional occurrences;
(c) aid granted to the economy of certain areas of the Federal Republic of Germany affected by the division of Germany, in so far as such aid is required in order to compensate for the economic disadvantages caused by that division. Five years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the Council, acting on a proposal from the Commission, may adopt a decision repealing this point.
3. The following may be considered to be compatible with the internal market:
(a) aid to promote the economic development of areas where the standard of living is abnormally low or where there is serious underemployment, and of the regions referred to in Article 349, in view of their structural, economic and social situation;
(b) aid to promote the execution of an important project of common European interest or to
remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State; (c) aid to facilitate the development of certain economic activities or of certain economic areas,
where such aid does not adversely affect trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest;
(d) aid to promote culture and heritage conservation where such aid does not affect trading
conditions and competition in the Union to an extent that is contrary to the common interest;
(e) such other categories of aid as may be specified by decision of the Council on a proposal from the Commission.

Article 109 (procedure for adopting implementing rules for competition) (ex Article 89 TEC)

The Council, on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament, may make any appropriate regulations for the application of Articles 107 and 108 and may in particular determine the conditions in which Article 108(3) shall apply and the categories of aid exempted from this procedure.

Review and the Future of Regional Policy

Review and the Future of Regional Policy

Review and the Future of Regional Policy Contents

Reports on economic and social cohesion

Sixth progress report on economic and social cohesion
Fifth progress report on economic and social cohesion
Fourth Report on Economic and Social Cohesion
Fourth progress report on cohesion: The Growth and Jobs Strategy and the Reform of European cohesion policy
Third progress report on cohesion – towards a new partnership for growth, jobs and cohesion
Third report on economic and social cohesion: the socio-economic situation of the Union and the impact of European and national policies
Third Report on economic and social cohesion: proposals for regional policy after 2006
Second progress report on economic and social cohesionArchives
First Progress Report on Economic and Social CohesionArchives
Second Report on Economic and Social Cohesion – an assessmentArchives
Second Report on Economic and Social Cohesion: conclusions and recommendationsArchives
10 questions for debateArchives

Lisbon Strategy and regional policy

Cohesion Policy: investing in the real economy
Cohesion policy to deliver the Lisbon Strategy (2007-2013)
Cohesion Policy in support of growth and jobs – Community Strategic Guidelines, 2007-13
Green paper on Territorial Cohesion
Implementation of the partnership for growth and jobs (first report)
The Community Lisbon ProgrammeArchives
A new start for the Lisbon Strategy (2005)Archives
A European initiative for growth
Strategy for sustainable developmentArchives
The Lisbon Special European Council (March 2000): Towards a Europe of Innovation and Knowledge

Thematic communications

Regional Policy serving innovation
The outermost regions: an asset for Europe
Review, challenges and strategy for the outermost regions
Cohesion policy and cities
Regions for economic change

Customs Cooperation

Customs Cooperation


The contribution of taxation and customs policies to the Lisbon StrategyArchives
Strategy for the evolution of the Customs Union
Strategy for the Customs Union
Customs 2013 (2008-2013)
Action programme: Customs 2007 (2003-2007)Archives
The role of customs in the integrated management of external borders
Enhancing police and customs cooperation in the European Union
Customs response to latest trends in counterfeiting and piracy
European anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy plan
Money laundering: prevention through customs cooperation

Cooperation between customs administrations

Convention on the use of information technology for customs purposes (CIS)
CIS system
A simple and paperless environment for customs and trade
A paperless environment for Customs and Trade
Convention on mutual assistance and cooperation between customs administrations (Naples II)

Community statistics

External trade: statistics relating to non-member countries

Indirect Taxation

Indirect Taxation

Indirect taxes on raising capital
Tax- and duty-free salesArchives
Taxation of heavy goods vehicles: Eurovignette Directive
Passenger car related taxes

Value-added tax (VAT)

Common system of value added tax (VAT) (‘the VAT Directive’)
Harmonisation of turnover taxesArchives
VAT: special scheme for goldArchives
VAT: special arrangements applicable to second-hand goods, works of art, antiques and collector’s itemsArchives
VAT: labour-intensive servicesArchives
VAT: special arrangements applicable to services supplied electronicallyArchives
VAT: Special scheme applicable to travel agencies
VAT and electronic commerceArchives
Exemption from VAT: final importation of goods
Exemption from VAT: Convention on Temporary Admission
Refund of VAT: taxable persons established in another EU country
Refunds to non-EEC taxable persons (13th VAT Directive)
Action plan to combat VAT fraud in the European Union
VAT anti-fraud strategyArchives

Excise duties

General arrangements for the holding and movement of products subject to excise duty
General arrangements for, and the holding and movement of, products subject to excise dutyArchives
Excise duty on manufactured tobacco
Manufactured tobacco: harmonisation of the structure of excise duties in several stagesArchives
Cigarettes: approximation of ratesArchives
Tobacco other than cigarettes: approximation of ratesArchives
Alcohol and alcoholic beverages: harmonisation of the structure of excise duties
Alcohol and alcoholic beverages: approximation of excise rates
Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity
Fiscal marking of gas oils and kerosene

Tax exemptions

Exemptions for travellers
Tax free allowances: international travelArchives
Tax-free allowances: small consignments of goods of a non-commercial character from Non-EU Member Countries
Tax-free allowances: permanent imports of personal property
Tax-free allowances: permanent imports of personal propertyArchives
Tax-free allowances: temporary importation of certain means of transport
Tax-free allowances: permanent or temporary importation of private motor vehicles

Indirect taxation in Administrative Cooperation

Administrative cooperation in the field of excise dutiesArchives
Administrative cooperation in the field of value added tax (until 31.12.2011)
Administrative cooperation in the field of VAT (from 1.1.2012)

French Law System

Law of France System

French Law System

Alphabetic Index of the French Law System



























See Also

Information Society

Information Society

Information Society Contents

  • Current general legal framework: Regulatory framework. Competition.
  • Digital Strategy, i2010 Strategy, eEurope Action Plan, Digital Strategy Programmes: Digital Strategy. I2010 Strategy and eEurope Action Plans. Programmes.
  • Internet, Online activities and ICT standards: Internet and Online activities. Fight against illegal online activities. Network security and information system. Coordination and standardisation.
  • Data protection, copyright and related rights: Data protection. Copyright and related rights in the information society.
  • Radiofrequencies: Mobile communications. Radio spectrum.
  • Interaction of the information society with certain policies: The use of ITC for road safety. The use of ITC for electronic commerce. The use of ITC for payment systems. The use of ITC for research. The use of ITC for public health.
  • Enlargement: Ongoing enlargement. Enlargement of January 2007. Enlargement of May 2004.

See also

Overviews of European Union: Information technology.
Further information: Communications Networks, Contents and Technology Directorate-General of the European Commission.

Cultural Initiatives and Cooperation

Cultural Initiatives and Cooperation

Cultural Initiatives and Cooperation Contents

Cultural Cooperation

Export of cultural goods
Return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of an EU country
Culture in EU external relations

Cultural Programmes and Initiatives

Work Plan for Culture 2011-14
Work Plan for Culture 2008-2010
European agenda for culture in a globalising world
Culture programme (2007-13)
European Heritage Label
European Capital of Culture
Europe for Citizens (2007-13)
Online access to Europe’s cultural heritage
Digitising cultural heritage online
Online digitisation of cultural heritageArchives
i2010: Digital libraries
Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency
Green Paper on the potential of cultural and creative industriesArchives
European Year of Creativity and Innovation (2009)Archives
European Year of Intercultural Dialogue (2008)Archives
“Culture 2000” ProgrammeArchives

Customs Controls and Formalities

Customs Controls and Formalities

Customs Controls and Formalities Contents

Community customs code

Modernised Community Customs Code
Provisions implementing the Community Customs Code
Transport under the TIR or ATA procedure
Combined Nomenclature, Common Customs Tariff and Integrated Tariff
Combined Nomenclature, Common Customs Tariff and Integrated Tariff of the European Communities (Taric)

Customs checks and exemptions at internal and external borders

Elimination of controls at frontiers in road and inland waterway transport
Elimination of controls and formalities applicable to baggage
Abolition of internal frontier controls for means of transport registered in a non-Community country
Exemptions for travellers
EU customs relief system
Community transit: action plan (1997)Archives