Case Studies in European Economic Union: The Mechanics of Integration

By J. E. Meade; H. H. Liesner et al. | Go to book overview

VI
COMMERCIAL POLICY

THE issues so far dealt with in this Study may all be described as 'internal' to the Community. In other words, economic conditions within and economic relations between the member countries, in so far as these have been affected by the establishment of the common market, have been the chief foci of attention, and economic ties between the Community and third countries have been discussed only as it has been relevant to do so. This emphasis simply reflects the fact that commercial policy towards the outside world has given rise to fewer and less contentious issues than has the organization and working of the internal market, although there have been a number of important difficulties. These are the subject of the concluding chapter of this Study.

A country's commercial policy with respect to a single good may in general terms be said to depend on two (frequently conflicting) factors -- the conditions of production and consumption of the particular commodity in question, and the overall lines of action pursued in the country's economic relations with the outside world as determined by, for instance, its balance-of-payments position. A common market which is limited both with respect to the number of countries taking part and to the range of products included is not likely to cause large changes as far as the second factor is concerned, but it will clearly have considerable bearing on the first. It is therefore not surprising that the general principle underlying the treaty provisions relating to commercial policy is that economic relations with third countries should remain under the sovereignty of the member governments, but that at the same time commercial policy measures directly affecting coal and steel should be subjected to some degree of co-ordination.

The opening paragraph of Chapter X of the treaty (the chapter which deals with commercial policy) states that 'unless otherwise provided in this Treaty, the responsibilities of the governments of the member States for commercial policy shall not be affected by the application of this Treaty'. However, this is almost immediately followed by an expression of agreement among the member governments to 'lend each other the necessary assistance in the execution of measures recognized by the High Authority as being in accord

-406-

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Case Studies in European Economic Union: The Mechanics of Integration
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables vi
  • Contents vii
  • Contents vii
  • Contents vii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Study I - The Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union, 1921-1939 13
  • Study II - The Building of Benelux 1943-1960 59
  • Study III - The European Coal and Steel Community 195
  • III - The Problems Of The Belgian Coal Industry 208
  • IV - The Tax Issue 310
  • VI - Commercial Policy 406
  • Select Bibliography 417
  • Ecsc Official Publications 418
  • Index 420
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