Art. 54 EEC

1. Before the expiry of the first stage, the Council, acting by means of a unanimous vote on a proposal of the Commission and after the Economic and Social Committee and the Assembly have been consulted, shall lay down a general programme for the abolition of restrictions existing within the Community on freedom of establishment. The Commission shall submit such proposal to the Council in the course of the first two years of first the stage.

The programme shall, in respect of each category of activities, fix the general conditions for achieving freedom of establishment and, in particular, the stages by which it shall be attained.

2. In order to implement the general programme or, if no such programme exists, to complete one stage towards the achievement of freedom of establishment for a specific activity, the Council, on a proposal of the Commission and after the Economic and Social Committee and the Assembly have been consulted, shall, until the end of the first stage by means of a unanimous vote and subsequently by means of a qualified majority vote, act by issuing directives.

3. The Council and the Commission shall exercise the functions entrusted to them by the above provisions, in particular:

(a) by according, as a general rule, priority treatment to activities in regard to which freedom of establishment constitutes a specially valuable contribution to the development of production and trade;

(b) by ensuring close collaboration between the competent national authorities with a view to ascertaining the special situation within the Community of the various activities concerned;

(c) by abolishing any such administrative procedures and practice whether resulting from municipal law or from agreements previously concluded between Member States as would, if maintained, be an obstacle to freedom of establishment;

(d) by ensuring that wage-earning workers of one Member State employed in the territory of another Member State may remain in that territory for the purpose of undertaking a non-wage-earning activity there, provided that they satisfy the conditions which they would be required to satisfy if they came to that State at the time when they wish to engage in such activity;

(e) by enabling a national of one Member State to acquire and exploit real property situated in the territory of another Member State, to the extent that no infringement of the principles laid down in Article 39, paragraph 2 is thereby caused;

(f) by applying the progressive abolition of restrictions on freedom of establishment, in each branch of activity under consideration, both in respect of the conditions for setting up agencies, branches or subsidiaries in the territory of a Member State and in respect of the conditions governing the entry of personnel of the main establishment into the managerial or supervisory organs of such agencies, branches and subsidiaries;

(g) by co-ordinating, to the extent that is necessary and with a view to making them equivalent, the guarantees demanded in Member States from companies within the meaning of Article 58, second paragraph, for the purpose of protecting the interests both of the members of such companies and of third parties; and

(h) by satisfying themselves that conditions of establishment shall not be impaired by any aids granted by Member States.