Free Movement of Capital

The free movement of capital is covered by Articles 40 to 45 of the EEA Agreement and Annex XII of the EEA Agreement. It is one of the fundamental freedoms that underpin the EEA internal market (free movement of people, goods, services and capital).

For citizens it means the ability to do many operations abroad, as diverse as opening bank accounts, buying shares in non-domestic companies, investing where the best return is, and purchasing real estate. For companies it principally means being able to invest in and own other European companies and take an active part in their management.

There are some exceptions to the free movement of capital. These are primarily linked to taxation and public policy considerations.

In 2015, the European Commission issued the capital markets union (CMU) action plan to build a true single market for capital in the EU by 2019. Under the CMU action plan, the European Commission has started examining the national barriers to the free movement of capital.

Unlike the Banking Union, CMU is designed for all 28 EU Member States and it is EEA relevant


Internal Market Division

+32 2 286 17 40

Seminar on the European Economic Area - Brussels 13 February 2020