Free Movement of Persons in the Single Market

Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


This case-study concerns the policy area of free movement of persons within the single market acquis. The single market chapters were presented early in the accession process, and were relatively low on the political agenda in both the EU and CEE until negotiations reached the FMP chapter. The EU’s agenda was clear in terms of legislation and institutional templates, and the standard of implementation to be attained prior to accession was relatively well-defined; hence uncertainty was low in comparison with other policy areas. The front-runner candidates substantially implemented the acquis prior to accession, not just because of the accession goal but also because of the FMP provisions in the Europe Agreements, which provided the interim benefit of access to EU markets. Slowness or incompleteness of implementation was mainly the result of limited resources rather than lack of political will for Poland and Hungary; however, for Bulgaria progress was much slower because alignment with the whole single market acquis began in earnest only in 1997.


Labour Market Transition Period Free Movement Mutual Recognition Labour Mobility 
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© Heather Grabbe 2006

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