Tag Archives: Internal Market

The Limits and Prerequisites of Integration

Phedon Nicolaides, 31 March 2014

Source: CoE, 2014

Source: CoE, 2014

The Bruges European Business Conference was successfully organised for the 5th consecutive year by the Economics Department on Thursday, 27 March. Prominent speakers were former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, the Secretary General of the European Trade Union Confederation Bernadette Segol, Deloitte’s Global Managing Director Roger Dassen and many other business leaders, senior public officials and academics [the programme of the conference and a complete list of speakers can be found on the College of Europe conference website].



Source: CoE, 2014

To put it crudely, the present British government opposes anything that smacks of, as was called at the conference, “political integration”. But, it is very hard to understand what is precisely meant by “political integration”. If it means the establishment of supranational authorities which have jurisdiction in the territory of each Member State, then for sure the EU’s internal market is deeply political. It is embedded in an institutional framework that empowers the Council and the European Parliament to adopt common rules, the European Commission to contest national measures and the Court of Justice to determine whether Member States apply internal market rules correctly. If anything, the EU experience has shown that successful economic integration and comprehensive removal of barriers to trade and investment must be supported by strong supranational institutions. Continue reading

EU-US Trade Agreement: Turkey as the ‚odd one out’?

By Jacqueline Breidlid

Benefits of a possible EU-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) are widely believed to be high. Mutual trade liberalisation would boost exports on both sides and could, according to Barroso, act as a “game changer” with regard to the current financial crisis. Yet for one player, ongoing negotiations have rung an alarm bell: Turkey.

Turkey has been a member of the Customs Union since 1995 and since then benefited from free circulation of industrial goods between itself and the EU internal market. The Customs Union however also meant that it had to, not only adopt the external tariff of the EU, but also to bring its trade policy in line with that of the EU. This again implies that every time the EU concludes an FTA with another party, Turkey has to negotiate a similar agreement with the same party…  and that without having a say in the decision-making leading up to the conclusion of the FTA or a guarantee that the other party is actually interested in negotiating an extra-FTA with Turkey.

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