Concept

 

The free movement of capitals in the European Union is the last of the freedoms recognized in the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union that settle the basis of european law. That last freedom would be the instrument that allow the effective development of the other freedoms: free movement of goods and persons and fredom to establish and provide services.

That concept of free movement of capitals was already adressed in the Treaty of Rome (1957), the origin of the European Economic Comunity and Customs Union (free trade area with a common external tariff).

The aim or principal objective of this liberazitation was the creation of an integrated financial space.

This principle of free movement of capitals is a directly applicable principle or what is the same, non additonial legislation has to be adopted to implement this system and take part of this integrated financial space.

Mainly, this concept of free movement of capitals has been traduced into a elimination of all kind of limitations and prohibitions in the terms of pays and transactions with capitals. 

The free trade area created by te application of this freedom of movement is nowadays the area of action of member states but also non-member states in tehir comercial relations with european countries. Although, there are some restrictions to third countries such as the recognized on the article 64.1 from TFEU which settle that will be applicable the restrictions to third countries previous to the 31st of December of 1993 in the fields of direct investment, real states, financial services and acceptance on financial markets.

History

The process followed to finally arrive to the actual point of freedom on the field of capital movements have been a long and gradual.

At the beggining, every country had their limitations to the movement of capitals, persons, goods... This was the functioning of the markets until the creation of free trade areas as the one created in Europe with the Treaty on Functioning of the European Union.

Although the TFEU reflects the liberalization of capital movements, other treaties talked about this field: that is the case of the Treaty of Maastrich and the Treaty of Rome.

In the case of Rome, the elimination of the barreers that limitated the movement of capitals was only allowed in the case that the measure was applied to improve the permorfance of the common market.

Later, on 1962 the European Economic Comunity redacted four different listings where were reflect different types of capital operations and the process that was necessary for their approval. They were called listing A, B, C, and D.

Finally, from Maastricht and its last actualization, the article 63 from the TFEU, "all restrictions on the movement of capital between Member States and between Member States and third countries shall be prohibited".