The single market is the cornerstone of EU cooperation. It ensures European business access to a large common market with equal competitive conditions and equal opportunities. In addition to the 27 member states of the EU, the three EEA/EFTA countries Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are fully integrated in the single market.
Due to the EU's internal market, European companies can do business throughout the EEA. Common rules have replaced various and complex national regulations, making it easier and cheaper for businesses to establish or trade across countries in the EEA. At the same time, the internal market has led to a more competitive European business and made countries more attractive for investments from abroad.
Norway and the Internal Market
Norway is part of the EU's internal market through the EEA Agreement. The agreement gives large parts of the Norwegian business sector almost equal access to the market in Europe as its competitors. An important exception is the fishing and aquaculture industry, which faces tariff barriers for its products.
The EU is one of the world's largest export areas and Norwegian business depends on access to the internal market. Due to a shortage of labour in norwegian indursy the internal labor market in the EEA area is becoming increasingly important for Norwegian companies to find relevant manpower.