THE SINGLE MARKET
* The single market is one of the European Union’s greatest achievements. Restrictions between member countries on trade and free competition have gradually been eliminated, with the result that standards of living have increased.
* The single market has not yet become a single economic area. Some sectors of the economy (public services) are still subject to nationallaws.
* The individual EU countries still largely have the responsibility for taxation and social welfare.
* The single market is supported by a number of related policies put in place by the EU over the years. They help ensure that market liberalisation benefits as many businesses and consumers as possible
The 1957 Treaty establishing the European Economic Community made itpossible to abolish customs barriers within the Community and establish a common customs tariff to be applied to goods from non-EEC countries. This objective was achieved on 1 July 1968.
However, customs duties are only one aspect of protectionist barriers to cross-border trade. In the 1970s, other trade barriers hampered the complete achievement of the common market. Technical norms, health and safetystandards, national regulations on the right to practise certain professions and exchange controls all restricted the free movement of people, goods and capital.
In June 1985, the Commission, under its then President, Jacques Delors, published a White Paper seeking to abolish, within seven years, all physical, technical and tax-related barriers to free movement within the Community. The aim wasto stimulate industrial and commercial expansion within a large, unified economic area on a scale with the American market.
The enabling instrument for the single market was the Single European Act, which came into force in July 1987. Its provisions included:
* extending the powers of the Community in some policy areas (social policy, research, environment);
* gradually establishing thesingle market over a period up to the end of 1992, by means of a vast legislative programme involving the adoption of hundreds of directives and regulations;
* making more frequent use of majority voting in the Council of Ministers.
Greece joins the community
Speech on the Entry of Greece into the EU, January 1, 1981
Although it is an important historical event, Greece'smembership of the European Community will not involve any change of climate for my country. Europe, which bears a Greek name, is an area with which Greece is familiar, since its civilisation is a synthesis to which, as I have had occasion to say elsewhere, the Greek mind has contributed the concepts of liberty, truth and beauty; the Roman mind, the concept of the State and of justice; and Christianity,faith and love. This is the common civilisation upon which we are called to build the new Europe. I believe that the unification of Europe will be the greatest political event in the history of our continent. An event that will influence not only the destiny of Europe but also the course of all humanity. For it will stabilise relations between the powers of the world, it will guarantee Europe'sindependence and contribute to the strengthening of world order and peace.
Greece joins Europe convinced that national independence will be consolidated for all parties concerned within the framework of European solidarity; that democratic liberties will be strengthened; that economic expansion will accelerate and that, with the co-operation of all, social and economic progress will become a commonasset. (...) A united Europe will preserve and advance European culture. It is obvious that this culture faces the danger of decadence. (...) Confusion of ideas and eudemonism together with a cruel logic that tends to ignore man as the purpose of social life, have distorted the cultural exemplar of Europe. (...) It is time for the European Faust to attempt a new journey to the land of measure and...
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