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Discuss the legal and political dimensions of the evolution of the concept of the internal market and its relationship to the concepts of the common market and the single market.

Discuss the legal and political dimensions of the evolution of the concept of the internal market and its relationship to the concepts of the common market and the single market.

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An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards (Ireland) Competition by Sarahrose Gourley. Originally submitted for LLB Law Single Honours at Queen University Belfast, with lecturer Dr Dimitrios Doukas in the category of Law
An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards (Ireland) Competition by Sarahrose Gourley. Originally submitted for LLB Law Single Honours at Queen University Belfast, with lecturer Dr Dimitrios Doukas in the category of Law

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
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10/27/2013

 
Discuss the legal and political dimensions of the evolution of the concept of the internal market and its relationship to the concepts of the commonmarket and the single market.
The concept of the internal market was first introduced by Article 8a (now 14) of the EEC of the Single European Act. It was defined as
‘an
area without internal frontiers, in which freemovement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured in accordance with the
provisions of the Treaty.’ The concept was narrower than that of th
e ambitious objectivesof the Common Market established in article 2 of the Treaty. The common market involvedthe merging of national rules into a single market for the whole community. Its function wasto guarantee economic liberty rights encompassing the full implementation of fourfreedoms. Barendt maintains that the internal market is narrower in that it relates only tothe establishment of the common market however in practical terms, both concepts areidentical.
1
In order to consider the evolution of the internal market it is important toconsider the failures prior to the Single European Act, the success of the White paper, thechange in the approach to harmonisation, the success of 1992 as well as the change to theconcept of the internal market after this date.Firstly, in evaluating the evolution of the internal market, it is important to highlight theoriginal difficulties associated establishing a common market. While article 2 defining thecommon market spoke of progressively approximating economic policies and the promotionof harmonious development of economic activities, it encompassed more than an economicobjective. It also aimed at increasing stability, living standards and closer relations. TheCommon market did see some progression. For example the abolishment of external bordertariffs saw a free trade area achieved 18 months ahead of schedule and a customs unionwas achieved in 1968. There was also an abolishment of quotas. The purposive approach of the European court of Justice to treaty provisions was also very significant. Throughout the
70’s and 80’
s despite
‘ploughing a largely lonely furrow’,
2
the court forwarded economic
1
P105. Barendt.
 
The Internal Market Unlimited: Some Observations on the Legal Basis of Community
Legislation’
 
2
P60
Shaw, J
et al.
,
Economic and Social Law of the European Union
 
 
integration. This was apparent in the Reyers case
3
in which article 43 on freedom of establishment was considered to have direct effect. However, the most pivotal judgementwas in the Cassis de Dijon case
4
in which the principle of mutual recognition wasestablished. This effectively meant, products legally made in one member state were not tobe hindered from being sold in another unless the product fell outside the mandatoryrequirements.
Craig notes how the court served as a ‘legislative catalyst’ for change.
5
 Certainly mutual recognition was evident in the Commission
’s
in its White paper as thedesirable method of harmonisation.However, despite this progression, the aims of the common market established in article 2EC were no where near being realised. There was freedom of physical goods however as
Leon Britain noted the ‘unseen barriers to trade where so substantial’
6
it could not be saidthat a single common market had been created. Legislative restrictions proved to befundamental to this problem. This can particularly seen in article 100 EC (now 94) in whichthe approximation of laws was restricted by the procedure of unanimous vote. Enlargementfurther exasperated the problem along with recession following the oil shocks. This needfor a unanimous vote to issue directives subsequently meant meticulous detail even to the
extent of completely determining ‘the
requisite
characteristics of the product concerned.’
 7
Pelkmans notes this was partly a reflection of a lack of trust among Member States.
8
 Evidently this was insufficient in light of increasing technical developments. There was alsothe fear of excessive harmonisation destroying national diversity. Shaw et al refers topotential examples such as Euro- cheese or sausage. This continuance this economicstagnation or Euroslerious could have seen the community, as Weatherill notes
‘at
best
remained marginalized and at worst collapsed’.
9
 T
he Commission’s white paper, ‘Completing the internal market’ would serve as the impetus
for progress towards the internal market. Politically this meant the neo-functionalist
3
 
Case 2/72 Reyners V Belgium [1974] ECR 631
 
4
Case 120/78 Rewe- zentrale AG v Bundesmonopolverwaltung fur Branntwein [1979] ECR 649
5
P6 Craig, P. The Evolution of the single Market.
in C. Barnard and J. Scott (eds.),
The Law of the SingleEuropean Market
Unpacking the Premises
 
6
P293 Brittan as quoted in Weatherill, S. Cases and Materials on EU law 2006
7
P 474 Evans, A.
 A textbook on European Union Law.
1998
8
P5 as quoted by Craig, P. '
The Evolution of the Single Market' 
 
9
P293 Weatherill Cases &Materials on EU law.
 
assumption of automatic spill-over to would have to change. An activist approach wasneeded. Hence the Commission took the initiative to propose the completion of the internalmarket, set a time limit, made 300 proposals and stressed the subsequent advantages. Mainobjective centred on the removal of physical, technical and fiscal barrier to trade. Theseadvantages were contrasted the costs of maintaining these barriers and the threat of 
dropping back into mediocrity.
10
The commission
’s
proceeding Cecchini report importantlyoutlined the specific economic advantages of such measures. These included the creation of five million new jobs, a 6 percent fall in the price of goods and a more competitive economy.The cost of a
non-Europe
would mean a loss of revenue of at least 4.25%.
11
However theWhite paper would have not been suffice if it were not for political co-operation.
Spinelli’s
draft of the European Union is an example of a proposal which received little enthusiasm.The success of the white paper can be attributed to a number of factors. Schmitt von Sydowmaintains
there was ‘a
clear political
will’ from
the Heads of government, Parliament andthe Commission who were attracted to the completion of the internal market.
12
Weatherilladds,
it captured the public imagination
.
13
Perhaps this was because as Bieber et al notesthe aim was
simple and inductive
spelling out measures without the need for theologicaldebate.
14
The fact that spending was not to be derived from the national or communitybudget also provided an incentive. Craig has interestingly attributed success to the shift inEU politics from that of neo-functionalism to liberal intergovernmentism.
15
Moravesik inparticular makes reference to intergovernmental bargains. In particular he claims the shiftfrom mutual recognition and minimal harmonisation was considered
a ‘less invasive form of liberalisation.’
16
He also asserts that Britain
essentially feared a ‘Europe a deux vitesses’.
17
 
10
P 57
Commission of the European Communities,
Completing the Internal Market
WhitePaper from the Commission to the European Council
,
 
11
 http://www.europarl.europa.eu/facts/3_1_0_en.htm.European Union fact sheets 3.1.0. Principles and general completion of the internal market
12
P294 Weatherill, S. Cases &Materials on EU law (7
th
ed)
13
P17 Weatherill, S.
Law and integration in the European Union. (1995)
 
14
P297 Weatherill, S. Cases &Materials on EU law (7
th
ed)
15
P.Craig Evolution of the Single Market.
in C. Barnard and J. Scott (eds.),
The Law of the Single European Market
Unpacking the Premises
 
16
 
Moravcsich, A. ‘Negiogating the single European Act: National interests and Conventional Statecraft in theEuropean Community’ (1991)
 
17
P611 as quoted in Craig. P & De Bura, G. EU law Text, Cases and Materials (4
th
ed)

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