The closest the Treaty of Rome came to specifying a social policy for the Community, besides establishing the European Social Fund (ESF), was in Article 118, where the Commission is charged with promoting "close collaboration between Member States in the social field, particularly in matters relating to: employment; labour legislation and working conditions; occupation and continuation training; social security; protection against occupational accidents and diseases; industrial hygiene; the law as to trade unions; and collective bargaining between employers and workers."
Note that this article was explicitly limited to dealing with working conditions (broadly defined) in the European labor market, and not with what might also be considered normal and important parts of a social policy, that is, health, housing, education, and poverty. When the EEC was established, it was felt that many of these latter problems were of more national interest and, in any case, could be dealt with as the economic benefits of growth were felt by all. The explicit attention to the conditions of the labor market, however, was considered necessary to further progress toward economic union.
Perhaps to no other area was attention of the new union more drawn than to that of labor mobility. This was natural in that the EEC was seen to be a common market as well as a more narrow customs union, and barriers to labor mobility could only serve to hinder progress toward efficient resource allocation across Europe.
As noted in Chapter 4, one of the first successes of the Community was the elimination of limits on migration within the EEC itself. This