Free movement of capital within the European Union

31-05-2018

Amongst the four fundamental freedoms that underpin the EU single market (free movement of persons, goods, services and capital), the free movement of capital is the most recent. Until the mid-1990s it did not exist in practice in a number of Member States. Financial operations in other Member States or in other currencies within the EU were subject to prior authorisation requirements by national authorities. These controls enabled national authorities to prevent or restrict financial operations. Free movement of capital became applicable with the 1993 Maastricht treaty, which removed all restrictions on capital movements and payments, both between Member States and with third countries. The principle has direct effect, meaning that it requires no further legislation at either EU or Member State level.

Amongst the four fundamental freedoms that underpin the EU single market (free movement of persons, goods, services and capital), the free movement of capital is the most recent. Until the mid-1990s it did not exist in practice in a number of Member States. Financial operations in other Member States or in other currencies within the EU were subject to prior authorisation requirements by national authorities. These controls enabled national authorities to prevent or restrict financial operations. Free movement of capital became applicable with the 1993 Maastricht treaty, which removed all restrictions on capital movements and payments, both between Member States and with third countries. The principle has direct effect, meaning that it requires no further legislation at either EU or Member State level.