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Docs en anglais
publié le 04/07/2012
Document de 41 pages au format WORDTweeter
This document describes the various stages of construction of the European Union and the mechanisms that are inherent to it. Key figures of the various European nations are given and all the different institutions which composed the E.U. are explained.
Jacques Delors (former French Minister of Economy and Finance) appointed President of the European Commission as of 1985, seeks agreement of the (then) 10 Member States on ways to relaunch European integration, and obtains a green light to a plan to establish a "Single European Market" by the end of 1992.
Rationale: achieve and go beyond the Common Market established by the Treaty of Rome, by putting an end to all remaining obstacles to trade between the Member States.
• Physical obstacles: the issue of controls at internal borders.
Although there were no longer Customs duties, there were still controls by Customs departments to collect VAT differences on merchandise crossing borders, plus controls by other government administrations (e.g. veterinary) - these controls, which slow down transport, could take place elsewhere (at the point of departure or the destination point) provided another VAT system is set up.
• Fiscal obstacles, as regards VAT (and other indirect tax, e.g. excise duties that are levied on such products as alcohol, tobacco and mineral oil products).
The Commission's plan proposed to reduce the differences in VAT rates between Member States (to avoid distortion of competition), and to introduce the principle of VAT payment at the rate of the country of origin, regardless of the destination.
This plan was finally not approved, but another system was found allowing to do away with border control, with a zero VAT rate charged in the country of origin for goods exported to other EU countries (and taxation in the country of destination).
• Technical obstacles: the issue of technical norms and standards, which differed in each Member State, preventing businesses from taking advantage of economies of scale in a market of continental dimension, and giving them a competitive handicap vis-à-vis their international (notably American) competitors.
In addition to further efforts to establish from the start pan-European norms (notably for new products), the Commission proposed to establish the principle of mutual recognition of norms and standards.
• Regulatory obstacles - notably for such heavily regulated markets as many service markets and public procurements.
Method: need to design and have adopted some 300 directives.
Institutional process: a proposed revision of the Treaty, changing the decision process to qualified majority voting, from the existing procedure of unanimity decisions which prevailed in a number of policy areas concerned (and would have made (fast) adoption of the proposed directives problematic) (...)
Table of Contents:
I) Key data on the European Union
II) A short history of European integration: main stages and events
III) The European Union's institutions: how the European Union works
IV) European Union policies
V) Main challenges for the European Union
Docs en anglais publié le 04/07/2012
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