Harmonization: The Slow Strategy Forward

Michelle P. Egan

in Constructing a European Market

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780199244058
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599132 | DOI:
 Harmonization: The Slow Strategy Forward

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Focuses on early efforts in the 1960s and 1970s by the European Community to address trade barriers through the harmonization of national regulatory policies and practices. The push for harmonization of national policies in Europe was driven by the understanding that, without regulatory intervention at the regional level, there would be no single market and that trade conflicts would escalate. This chapter illustrates the tremendous difficulties that this (old approach) policy of harmonization encountered, despite a strong legal basis in the treaty to eliminate disparities in national regulatory systems. Since this policy reflected a regulatory mismatch, as the instruments chosen were ill‐suited to dealing with the problem, the chapter concludes by focusing on how political and economic constraints forced the EU to undertake regulatory reform to achieve a better match between its policy objective and outcomes.

Keywords: European Union; harmonization; regulation; regulatory mismatch; regulatory reform; single market; trade barriers; trade conflict

Chapter.  9001 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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