The free movement of persons is one of the core rights guaranteed in the European Economic Area (EEA), the extended Internal Market which unites all the EU Member States and three EEA EFTA States – Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It is perhaps the most important right for individuals, as it gives citizens of the 31 EEA countries the opportunity to live, work, establish business and study in any of these countries.
The legislation on the free movement of persons aims at eliminating all obstacles to the freedom of movement, and to give the same rights to nationals of an EEA State and their family members within the EEA by eliminating any discrimination on the basis of nationality.
To complement and support the principle of the free movement of persons, the EEA Agreement also specifies the rules applicable in the fields of recognition of professional qualifications and social security coordination. Both are necessary to enable people to exercise their fundamental right to free movement effectively.