Case Studies in European Economic Union: The Mechanics of Integration

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

use of material published in French, Dutch, or Italian. This has probably imparted a certain bias to this Study, for which the author's deficiencies are solely responsible.

The period covered by this Study extends from 1953 -- when the common market was established -- until the beginning of 1960, i.e. the period documented by the High Authority's first eight General Reports. A final revision was undertaken in the summer of 1961, but developments occurring after February 1960 were referred to only if they appeared to affect the issues discussed in an important way.


II
PRICING AND COMPETITION

1. INTRODUCTION

As has been outlined in Chapter I, it is generally held that a common market should be free and competitive if it is to bring about an improved allocation of resources. However, at the time the Community was founded there were numerous cases of governmental control, ranging from control of quantities supplied to different customers to control over conditions of sale, particularly prices, and competitive forces were held at bay by openly established sales organizations or by scarcely less public collusion.

The task facing the Community was therefore an exceedingly difficult one. It could not be expected that the reasons for which government controls had originally been introduced and maintained would disappear with the establishment of the common market, and the lifting of controls was therefore liable to conflict with national economic-policy objectives, not to speak of the short-run adjustment difficulties which were likely to ensue. A possible alternative to a free market -- the adoption of common control measures throughout the Community -- was provided for in the treaty in case serious disequilibria should occur in the integrated markets, but this solution would not in fact avoid problems of incompatibility with national economic policies, and the need for such control measures might in any case vary from country to country.

The monopolistic nature of the integrated markets likewise promised to pose difficult problems. Owing to the structure of some of the industries an outright banning of collective decisions with

-208-

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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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