The Common Market


A common market is defined as a stage in economic development of countries that become part of a ‘unity’ or regional grouping through agreement. This alliance or agreement has stated purposes of enhancing the grouped resources to increase economic prosperity and importance with non-member nations. The “progression of stages of trading blocs, in order of intensity of integration, are free trade agreement, custom union, common market, economic union, and political union” (Satterlee, 2018).  Common markets according to the Satterlee are an earlier stage in the progression having characteristics of “services, capital, labor, and entrepreneurship” (Satterlee, 2018). The European Union is widely referred to as an example that will be used for illustration descriptions.


An article entitled Free Movement of Workers as an Instrument of Creation of the European Common Market; the author describes the motivations behind the European (common market) Union as being driven by the freedom of movement of the participating countries. This idea is slightly different than that espoused by Satterlee in International Business with Biblical Worldview. Satterlee presents a progression of agreement between nations resulting in a political union, with common market being the metamorphic stage before political union. This definition sounds as if there is an engulfing social progression of countries becoming one. As with most social agendas, they many times are goals of few rather than majority. Ludera-Ruszel describes the progression of the common market as a solution to economic trends occurring in Europe. This difference can be traced back to 1957 with the European Economic Community, forerunner of the European Union. It was Italy that had a very high unemployment rate, that made freedom of worker movement conditional on their participation. This freedom of movement we now characterize as Europe, solidified in 1993. The Four Pillars of the European Union are freedom of goods, freedom of worker, freedom to provide services and free movement of capital (Ludera-Ruszel, 2015). Luder-Ruszel describes the free movement of workers as key to expansion of economic and social benefits in Europe.

The European Common Market


The article by Ludera-Ruszel touches on the importance of worker freedom in the European Union. The strength in economic growth and social development is a direct result of the worker mobility. More importantly it goes a step further, workers have the same rights regardless of origination. The strength in a common market, in theory, comes from the combined efforts and resources of all participants, however we have seen over the years in the European Union, the strength, i.e., financial capital has been lop-sided. A few participating countries have or have been close to defaulting on their government liabilities, relying on other member nations to prop up their obligations. Germany and France have been unequal contributors to various monetary crisis’.

Britain was always hesitant on the general concept of common market, such that they never became members, but became one of the “Outer Seven” (Fennelly, 1963). Britain did agree to open borders but never embraced the common currency of the Euro for the very reason that they were suspicious of the unequal obligations that would result from membership. In a general view, I can see how a common market progresses for the enhancement of the participants utilizing their respective resources for economic development. The final stage of political integration as part of natural progression, I find uneasy, as this typically would involve a select few rather than the strengths of the country as a whole. Political goals tend to lean towards social fabrications and can quickly represent a minority with characteristics vastly different than original goals.

Satterlee lists the European Union as an example of an Economic Union. The definition used is “an agreement wherein nations remove all barriers to trade and the movement of labor, goods, services, and capital and erect a common trade policy against non-members” (Satterlee, 2018). Common market definitions vary and include movement of capital. The differences between common market and economic union seem obscure. The strength of the European Union is currently under scrutiny. Britain is withdrawing from open border agreements due to influences of increased immigration and economic stagnation. Other countries at times have threatened to leave the union and revert back to older currencies, therefore for illustrating the subject of common market, I have chosen the example of the European Union as it could be and is by some defined as a common market.


Laci, B., & Hysa, E. (2015). Albania’s Challenge to Access in European Common Market. Economic Insights – Trends & Challenges, 67(2), 11–19.

Fennelly, J. F. (1963). International Trade and the Common Market. California Management Review, 5(3), 31–36.

Ludera-Ruszel, A. (2015). Free Movement of Workers as an Instrument of Creation of the European Common Market. European Integration Studies, 9, 161–169.



Satterlee, B. (2018). International Business with Biblical Worldview, McGraw Hill Education.

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