Freedom to provide services


The freedom to provide services is one of the fundamental principles of the EEA Agreement. It means that as a general rule a service provider in, for example Germany, is free to offer his services in Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway and vice versa.

The principle of freedom to provide services guarantees EEA citizens the freedom to provide services on the territory of another EEA State.

The EEA States can restrict the provision of certain services in their territories provided that they have a legitimate objective relating to, for example, the protection of public policy, public security or public health. Any restrictions must be necessary and proportionate to the aims they seek to achieve.

The Services Directive aims primarily to codify the case law on services and establishment of the European Court of Justice. It also establishes close administrative co-operation between the EEA States in order to improve and simplify trade in services in the whole EEA. The Services Directive entered into force in the EFTA States on 1st of May.

In relation to health services, a Directive on cross-border health care has been adopted in the EU on 9 March 2011. 

Relevant links:

Other EEA Institutions

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