The main benefit of trading in the European Union (EU) is the European single market. It is the largest international single market in the world, which has lead to:
- greater competition in services - which is good for businesses and consumers
- removal of trade barriers
- reduction of business costs
- greater business efficiency
- elimination of anti-competitive practices - such as monopolies and cartels
The EU has taken measures to reform and make it even easier for countries to trade with each other, such as:
- reducing paperwork
- harmonising standards - eg technical and safety standards
- introducing the euro - allowing a single currency to trade with
- enforcing the movement of people - allowing member state citizens to move freely between other countries
EU company law
EU legislation is binding for EU member states. The governments of member states must incorporate EU laws into their national legislation.
Some EU company law is also in the form of non-binding 'recommendations' or 'opinions'.
The European Commission has developed and implemented various policy measures to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Europe. These policies are intended to help the set up and continuing success of SMEs.
To help the European single market, the EU has also introduced measures to harmonise company law across Europe. This has helped to ensure:
- easier access to funding
- clearer and more effective legislation
- protection for shareholders, creditors and employees
- a reduction in the administrative burden on businesses