One of the greatest impact of membership of the EU on individuals, is the way that goods can move more freely - increasing choice - and very importantly, the EU has developed safeguards and rights for consumers.
Large companies can try to carve up the market for their own advantage. To avoid that Competition Law and the principles of the Free Movement of Goods has been developed. Often these companies - or trade groups - have lobbied their government for restrictive rules to promote their interests. The EU has challenged many of these attempts. A key case is known as the 'Cassis de Dijon' case - which established the presumption that if goods were legally on sale in one country, they should be able to be sold in all other member states. The onus is put on the State attempting to restrict imports (or exports) to justify the restriction. [The decision can be read here]
The following is a programme about the Single market - and its advantages and disadvantages.
More videos on Consumer rights can be accessed at http://europarltv.europa.eu/en/themes/consumer-rights.aspx