The United States, the European Union, and the "Globalization" of World Trade: Allies or Adversaries?

By Thomas C. Fischer | Go to book overview

Chapter 9
The European Union Program

It should be evident from the foregoing chapter that the EU has a large legislative program, quite like that of the U.S. federal government. Many diverse pressures are placed on the EU's central organs by the member states, business interests and others outside the Community. Apart from decisions of the European courts, which are reported in the European Court Reports (ECR; "C" for high court judgments and "T" for First Instance), the legislation of the Community is reported in the Official Journal (O.J.; "C" for Commission proceedings and "L" for law). The latter is like the U.S. Federal Register.

The treaties describe the principal objectives of the Community. Among them are to "[establish] a common market . . . by implementing . . . common policies . . . to promote throughout the Community a harmonious and balanced development . . . [including] the elimination, as between Members States, of customs duties and quantitative restrictions . . . ; an internal market characterized by the abolition . . . of obstacles to the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital; . . . a common policy in the sphere of agriculture and fisheries; . . . transport; a system ensuring that competition in the internal market is not distorted;" and so forth. 1 That is what the EU was meant to be--a customs union, with a single internal market and external tariff (Common Customs Tariff). This required the "approximation" (or "harmonization") of "Member States [laws] to the extent required" to establish a single market. 2

The integration of the market proceeded at an uneven pace, however. It proved to be one thing to agree that there shall be no "customs duties on imports and exports . . . between Member States" and quite another thing to root out all national practices, inadvertent or intentional (e.g., labeling,

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