Setting the scene : the legal framework

This special issue of European Taxation on the topic "Fundamental freedoms for citizens, fundamental restrictions on national tax law?", is devoted to the subject of direct tax provisions in the laws of the Member States of the European Union that may be possible infringements of the fundamental freedoms in EC law. Country reports by various contributors focus on the following rights in the EC Treaty: specific freedoms (freedom of movement of workers, freedom of establishment, freedom to provide services, freedom of movement of capital and payments), and general freedoms (general prohibition on discrimination on grounds of nationality or origin; and general right of all EU citizens to freedom of movement and residence within the territory of the Member States.