Michelle P. Egan

in Constructing a European Market

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780199244058
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599132 | DOI:

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Focuses on the efforts to create a single market in Europe in the post‐war period, a process with many similarities to the creation of a single market in the US. Drawing on this historical comparison, the European Union has sought to foster the removal of barriers to trade through sustained regulatory intervention, acknowledging that markets are never self‐organized but always operate within a political and legal framework. Even though the single market was conceptualized as an economic project, the political and institutional design of the market is important in understanding the governance structures needed to shape the single market. In addressing the political economy of regulation, this chapter argues that three factors are crucially important to understanding why the regulatory role of the European Union is central to explaining the construction of a European market: (1) the need to limit the ability of member states to exercise regulatory sovereignty; (2) the role of law in striking down mercantilistic economic regulation and freeing consequent market activity of many non‐tariff barriers; and (3) using private non‐state actors to achieve their objectives, by delegating certain regulatory functions to the private sector and promoting self‐regulation as an alternative mode of economic governance.

Keywords: delegation; European Union; governance; non‐state actors; non‐tariff barriers; regulation; self‐regulation; single market; sovereignty; USA

Chapter.  4355 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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